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Old 05-14-2021, 07:45 AM   #1
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Power Quality Monitoring and Surge Protection

Still have not decided which wat to go, looked at the Hughs Watchdog product that offers surge protection and monitors power and will shut down the power if it sees low voltage among other problems, it also has Bluetooth. The drawbacks are 1. It is huge and heavy, 2. It has a bright light on it which advertises it at the pedestal or lights up your rig should you get the hard-wired unit and install it inside and 3. It has quite a hum according to some reviewers which doesn't make it the best choice for indoor mounting, or anywhere on the rig for that matter.
I considered just going with surge protection as I am capable of checking things like amperage, voltage drop and reverse polarity etc. with my electrical background however this is not as convenient as a device which does it for you nor does it do much good if conditions should change such as park usage climbing in the late afternoon on a hot day.

I'd like to know what others are doing or using/not using. My setup is 30 amps and I am mainly interested in protection, the load managing I can do manually.
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Old 05-14-2021, 07:57 AM   #2
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Also considering this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...age=en_US&th=1
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Old 05-14-2021, 08:30 AM   #3
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The PI shown is a really good surge protector that a lot of Airstreamers use. I use the portable model of it. It does protect against low voltage. And has a delayed restart to protect the AC.
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Old 05-14-2021, 09:05 AM   #4
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The big EMS players in the market that seem to be used most frequently are Progressive, Southwire, and Hughes. The manufacturers carry limited lifetime warranties on their equipment. Some folks like the internal units because of the security. Others like the externals many times due to the humming noise that some of the units generate.

Bottom line going EMS is definitely better than surge protection only since it will protect you from low voltage that is not always detectable until a campground gets crowded and the A/C units start loading up the campground loops.

Shop around and you will find a variety of prices on the same brand of unit. I saved about $50 on mine over many retailers. www.etrailer.com has good prices. I bought my Progressive unit from them. Right now they are carrying Hughes units in their inventory and they have a 30 amp Bulldog unit that is going for $208 with bluetooth notification. Just check the features of each and the type of power conditions they monitor.

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Old 05-14-2021, 05:22 PM   #5
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I am probably going to get the Progressive that I linked, it is a bit smaller than the Hughs and I have a good place to mount it in my outside bay, I'll mount it on rubber isolators to reduce hum. The other thing I like about it is the remote display that I can mount inside. I don't have anything against Bluetooth but I got enough apps on my phone as it is, I'd rather just glance at a monitor instead of dragging out the phone and scrolling thru apps.
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Old 05-14-2021, 05:35 PM   #6
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I have the Hughes 30amp exterior model. I do not find it overly heavy or of inordinate size, the 50amp version may be. It has been great so far. As far as the light advertising it’s presence, I always use a cable lock to secure it. Prior to the Hughes I had another brands 50amp external for my DP for over 10 years I never once had an issue with theft.
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Old 05-14-2021, 06:13 PM   #7
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We got the surgeguard (Southwire) unit first. It failed with a bad connection in its socket after about a dozen uses. Upon inspection, the contacts in the connection were poorly made.

We replaced it with the 30 amp Progressive Industries model, which we have had for about four years now. It is still working well. Just last week it reported a bad ground.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ITSNO60 View Post
......
I considered just going with surge protection as I am capable of checking things like amperage, voltage drop and reverse polarity etc. with my electrical background however this is not as convenient as a device which does it for you nor does it do much good if conditions should change such as park usage climbing in the late afternoon on a hot day.

I'd like to know what others are doing or using/not using. My setup is 30 amps and I am mainly interested in protection, the load managing I can do manually.
Hi

I think that the "manual" approach is not a great one. You can pull up to a post that has issues right from the start. It's more likely that whatever issues there are pop up randomly.

Based on what I've seen in about 18 months of usage: One bum post one time. Probably > 50 disconnects for random issues. Worst case: Parked a stone's throw from a TVA dam. EMS disconnected every 20 minutes for a couple hours .....

Fun !!

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Old 05-16-2021, 09:29 AM   #9
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Surge Protection

I bought the Hughes For our 2014 International. We have 50 Amp and yes it is a big unit and has a white light on when everything electrical is good.
The Hughes units have an internal piece that is replaceable if a surge is suffered by their units. Other brands do not requiring the entire unit be replaced. My replacement piece is free if it gets fried in the first year of ownership, after that itís about $40 to replace. Sure beats the price of an entire unit.
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Old 05-16-2021, 09:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ppppino View Post
I bought the Hughes For our 2014 International. We have 50 Amp and yes it is a big unit and has a white light on when everything electrical is good.
The Hughes units have an internal piece that is replaceable if a surge is suffered by their units. Other brands do not requiring the entire unit be replaced. My replacement piece is free if it gets fried in the first year of ownership, after that itís about $40 to replace. Sure beats the price of an entire unit.
+1

Hughes also has a plastic cover that goes over the face of the unit and it greatly reduces the brightness of the white light. I think it's $5.
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Old 05-22-2021, 06:06 PM   #11
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Thanks for everyone's advice. I went with the Hardwired one from Progressive Industries mounted in the outside compartment and fished a communication wire to the control panel area for the monitor. I wish the monitor had the connection in the back for a cleaner install but oh well. I really like being able to see everything at a glance, the monitor continuously scrolls through so you are updated every few seconds and with the isolation mounts on the outside unit I could hear no humming whatsoever, although who knows if I will hear it in the dead of night.
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Old 05-22-2021, 09:30 PM   #12
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After the fact for the OP, but as a data geek, I like the accumulated usage feature of the Hughes Watchdog. I like being able to check a utility post BEFORE any electrons make it to the trailer. My wife likes seeing both instantaneous amps and watts, whichever is most at home in her non-technical brain at the time.
A piece of electrical tape can hide the indicator lights - carefully positioned, you can see enough to know the connection status. And I agree, the 30 A model is a fairly convenient dogbone size. (It’s always left on my significantly more bulky cable.)
Happy travels!
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Old 05-23-2021, 08:09 AM   #13
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After the fact for the OP, but as a data geek, I like the accumulated usage feature of the Hughes Watchdog. I like being able to check a utility post BEFORE any electrons make it to the trailer. My wife likes seeing both instantaneous amps and watts, whichever is most at home in her non-technical brain at the time.
A piece of electrical tape can hide the indicator lights - carefully positioned, you can see enough to know the connection status. And I agree, the 30 A model is a fairly convenient dogbone size. (Itís always left on my significantly more bulky cable.)
Happy travels!
Don, I see your point about checking before you plug in your RV, the scenario I can think of is a 30 amp recep being wired for 240 but I think the PI unit would catch it before it got into the RV, although it may give up it's life doing so and possibly the Hughs unit would also die in that scenario. I can always plug in a tester first if for nothing more than to protect the protection device.
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Old 05-24-2021, 06:10 AM   #14
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Hi

Most EMS units start off in the "disconnected" state. They then monitor the input for a while before anything is hooked up. Internal or externally mounted, they will not attach to a power source they measure as being wrong.

Since you are pretty much never going to be the first to plug into this or that pole, odds are the list of possible faults is pretty short. The pole isn't going to be wired for 13.8 KV three phase. There will be the usual goofs present. Other than a 50A wired as two single phase hot wires, they sort them out.

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