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Old 09-05-2017, 09:51 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasams View Post
I bought the PD4655V and pendent from bestcharger.com. The inexpensive pendent shows the current charging state as is a nice feature. If you use the pendent, then you can retain the stock fuse board which made the installation a piece of cake. Randy was also very helpful in walking me through it. Dave
Do i need this pendant to? I don't know squat about electronics so I would like to avoid things like fuse boards etc.

When you say the stock fuse board what do you mean by this? is this where you get the reading of how charged the batteries are?

Where did you put the pendant?
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:47 AM   #42
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For those worried about their batteries, and don't want to update their converter, I offer this simple, inexpensive solution:
https://jet.com/product/detail/bdd46...5-f736ee43a83c
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:20 AM   #43
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Does it matter which one i get? Meaning, the airstream is rated to 30 amps. If i go with a 35 or higher will it affect anything?
Good point. I also have a 30 amp Airstream. I went with the Intellipower 45 amp model, mainly because I got a good deal. Randy at Best Converter is very helpful. It's somewhere between rocket science and changing a light bulb. You could use a RV service tech, but make sure he knows what he is doing.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:41 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by on the fly View Post
Does it matter which one i get? Meaning, the airstream is rated to 30 amps. If i go with a 35 or higher will it affect anything?
You want the 55 amp model. I don't know the why's. Talk to Randy.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:54 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by on the fly View Post
Do i need this pendant to? I don't know squat about electronics so I would like to avoid things like fuse boards etc.
With the pendent, you can see the current state of operation at a glance:

Constant light = boost mode
Flash = normal mode
Quick flash = storage mode

Quote:
Originally Posted by on the fly View Post
When you say the stock fuse board what do you mean by this?
When you order the PD4655V, you get a controller and a fuse board. I replaced the controller but left the stock fuse board. I recall the latter is only possible if you also get the <$20 pendent.

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Originally Posted by on the fly View Post
Where did you put the pendant?
It sticks out of the panel door. Here's a crapy iPhone picture of an upside down pendent (I saw no reason to use the two sided tape).
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:16 AM   #46
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I have no expertise in this area but I learned Ohm's law in freshman physics that current is voltage divided by resistance. So I don't understand how a controller can vary the current without changing the voltage or resistance.

One other point is that my PD4655V charges at 13.1 V when in maintain mode vs 13.7 of the OEM unit.

I'm here to learn, Dave
Hi

The converter chargers are all switching regulator circuits. They monitor the current being pulled and vary the voltage so that there is not "to much" current going into the battery.

How much is to much?

That depends a bit on which battery type you have and what the battery manufacturer rates it at. In general capacity / 4 is not a bad number. If you have two 100AH batteries, capacity would be 200 AH. Capacity / 4 would be 50 amps. Oddly enough, this is one of those cases where less may not be a good idea. Your batteries may last longer when charged "harder". Yes, that's weird ....

Bob
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:24 AM   #47
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AC vs DC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
Good point. I also have a 30 amp Airstream. I went with the Intellipower 45 amp model, mainly because I got a good deal. Randy at Best Converter is very helpful. It's somewhere between rocket science and changing a light bulb. You could use a RV service tech, but make sure he knows what he is doing.
This is commonly misunderstood. "30 amp" trailers are rated for 30 amps of AC power (or 30 amps x 120 volts = 3600 watts). 45 amp converters put out 45 amps of DC power (45 amps x 14 volts = 630 watts).
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Old 09-06-2017, 08:55 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
They monitor the current being pulled and vary the voltage so that there is not "to much" current going into the battery.
The OEM unit in my 2017 FC put out 13.7 V no matter what. At least I never saw a different number and i pushed the battery button a hundred times over the past year.

I picked up our 2018 FC *today* and it's putting out 13.6 V. I'm going to monitor it and if it doesn't drop, I'm going to replace it. FYI the 2018 FC's are supposed to have a multi-stage controller, unlike earlier models. I'm skeptical.
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:40 PM   #49
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OK - a story - just sold a boat this past spring. Had it for several years. Batteries in it were toast soon after we took possession. Everyone said a multi-stage charger was needed as the OEM unit was going to boil away the cells. Standard approach to keep the batteries alive, was to run the refrigerator and keep the charger on. Fellow across from us and our broker followed that protocol. It works. Batteries see less voltage as there is a load on all the time.

We turned the charger off and only ran it for a few hours every couple of weeks. Refrigerator was not run. Our batteries lasted over five years, so that worked too.

No, you don't need the multi-stage converter, if you take care not to abuse the batteries. Biggest problem is allowing them to be run down below 50% charge.

We found that storage was the source of that problem for us as we did not have power when Glimmer was tucked away. Solution was a battery disconnect switch. We put her away with a full charge on the batteries. She has been put up for about six months. Picked up today and meter was at 12.4 volts. Our disconnect appears to have done the trick.

We did replace the batteries and upgraded to the multi-stage converter. Better charging seems to help get us up to full charge. Recommend getting the pendant and not installing the new board. OEM board has junction block that allows a crushed wire connection. New one has different blocks and needs lugs added to the wires for an appropriate connection.

Good luck on your upgrades. Pat
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:57 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dasams View Post
The OEM unit in my 2017 FC put out 13.7 V no matter what. At least I never saw a different number and i pushed the battery button a hundred times over the past year.

I picked up our 2018 FC *today* and it's putting out 13.6 V. I'm going to monitor it and if it doesn't drop, I'm going to replace it. FYI the 2018 FC's are supposed to have a multi-stage controller, unlike earlier models. I'm skeptical.
Hi

You could easily be sitting there with 13.7V and zero current into the battery. In that case, it does not matter.

The "stock" chargers looked at load first. Once it dropped below some point (like 1A) they decided that the charge phase was winding down.

Next they started a timer. It chugged along for something like two days. At that point they would drop back the voltage.

The obvious question is - would you ever get / stay below 1A (or whatever the limit was) for two days?

So technically a three stage charger. Given the loads in a trailer maybe not a perfect implementation of the third stage. Most certainly *not* a single stage.

Bob
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