Replacing the converter

Electrical issues, both 12 volt and 120 volt
User avatar
Rhettb
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:08 pm
B190 Year: 1992
WBCCI: 0
Location: Olympia WA

Re: Replacing the converter

Post by Rhettb » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:54 pm

Mike,
Thanks for your reply and the explanation of what occurs in each switch position is very helpful. I agree that there may be a way to wire in an Automatic Charging Relay that would monitor the voltage of each house bank and distribute charging current accordingly but I'm not sure where it would be installed. For now, I plan to duplicate your design and I would be interested in any results you get from testing the charging function in the Bat 1 + 2 switch position.

Joel

mtnmanb
Weekend Camper
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 4:45 pm
B190 Year: 1991
WBCCI: 0
Location: Warshington

Re: Replacing the converter

Post by mtnmanb » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:18 pm

Great thread and thank you! I installed the PD4655 myself, only problem I had was trouble fitting the huge black wire in the upper middle of the new fuse panel. Since I couldn't find a thread on how to add a battery, I had the RV shop help with that one. I had them check my wiring on the fuse panel and they just replaced the huge black wire with a little smaller red one. Otherwise all was good. They added a Group 24 battery with a vent to the outside and a relay.

One thing I found interesting, the RV shop talked me out of getting the AGM batteries stating that they constantly have to replace them at their shop due to a short lifespan. They stated the normal batteries last much longer, have more power, and that they haven't perfected the closed cells yet. I'm good with this as the closed cells cost twice as much. Thoughts on this? I know that a lot of people swear by them here...

B)
'90 bought 27Apr2012
Added Safe-T Stabilizer shock, port. generator, EZE RV gutters, curtains, memory foam 5.5" mattress, rebuilt bunk, Double Pancake LED light, O2 sensor, shore plug, 4655 Converter, Battery under couch, MaxxFan Fantastic Fan

User avatar
skater
Site Admin
Posts: 2089
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 1:00 am
B190 Year: 1991
WBCCI: 13270
Location: Annapolis, MD

Re: Replacing the converter

Post by skater » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:24 pm

mtnmanb wrote: One thing I found interesting, the RV shop talked me out of getting the AGM batteries stating that they constantly have to replace them at their shop due to a short lifespan. They stated the normal batteries last much longer, have more power, and that they haven't perfected the closed cells yet. I'm good with this as the closed cells cost twice as much. Thoughts on this? I know that a lot of people swear by them here...
Usually they die because they're overcharged, probably by cheap single stage converters. AGMs are much more sensitive to overcharging, although overcharging will kill any battery.

However since you now have a 3 stage converter, even a flooded cell should last decently well, though you'll still want to check the water level in it regularly.

I'm not sure about the capacity; I'd have to look it up. But, there's a guy on AIRForums that builds and installs high-capacity solar systems for RVs, and always uses and recommends Lifeline batteries, an AGM battery. I can't imagine he'd recommend an AGM battery if the flooded cell performed better.
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit

jb1rd73
Seasoned Traveler
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:30 am
B190 Year: 1994
WBCCI: 0
Location: Vail Valley Colorado

Re: Replacing the converter

Post by jb1rd73 » Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:56 pm

Hi Folks,
I am getting ready to replace my converter and have a question about adding solar into the mix; will the PD 4665 or the 9200 series that Skater work with adding solar? Sorry if this sounds ignorant, as I am when it comes to this stuff, I have tried googling and I get soooooooo many results I just glaze over 8O What I am after is buying the right equipment once. TIA!!!!

User avatar
Kentuckian
Seasoned Traveler
Posts: 342
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:52 pm
B190 Year: 1993
WBCCI: 0
Location: Kentucky, USA

Re: Replacing the converter

Post by Kentuckian » Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:16 pm

Hi jbird,

Here is a link to a thread covering the list of the hardware that I installed as I replaced my converter and also installed solar at the same time.

http://b190.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1316&p=5155#p5155

I'm not saying that this hardware is the only way to go. Rather this is the system that I installed and will give you an idea of the hardware needed.

Regards, Kentuckian
1993 Airstream B190 w/1991 Chevrolet Tracker tow car

Mgittrich
Seasoned Traveler
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:01 pm
B190 Year: 1993
WBCCI: 0

Re: Replacing the converter

Post by Mgittrich » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:47 pm

Here's the link to the approach I took to replace the converter and add solar panels and batteries.

http://b190.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1481

I hope this helps. I travel all summer and this setup has been used for the last 2 years. It all works great.

If you have any questions give me a shout. Good luck for n your project.

Mike

User avatar
skater
Site Admin
Posts: 2089
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 1:00 am
B190 Year: 1991
WBCCI: 13270
Location: Annapolis, MD

Re: Replacing the converter

Post by skater » Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:15 am

jb1rd73 wrote:Hi Folks,
I am getting ready to replace my converter and have a question about adding solar into the mix; will the PD 4665 or the 9200 series that Skater work with adding solar? Sorry if this sounds ignorant, as I am when it comes to this stuff, I have tried googling and I get soooooooo many results I just glaze over 8O What I am after is buying the right equipment once. TIA!!!!
I think your concern is about having two chargers/controllers in the same electrical system. If so, then no, that's not a problem. Each one will sense the voltage and respond appropriately. (Our trailer has two - the solar controller and the converter, and it works fine.)
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit

jb1rd73
Seasoned Traveler
Posts: 152
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:30 am
B190 Year: 1994
WBCCI: 0
Location: Vail Valley Colorado

Re: Replacing the converter

Post by jb1rd73 » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:20 pm

Thanks Skater!!! I think I have if figured out now :) I was unsure as to whether there was a single unit that would control everything but it does not seem that way as you mentioned there are 2 separate controls, one for the generator and house battery then the solar will work off it's own system but still charging the same batteries.

Sector9surf
Weekend Camper
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:26 am
B190 Year: 0
WBCCI: 0

Re: Replacing the converter

Post by Sector9surf » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:51 am

Planck wrote:I think another issue to be concerned about with multiple batteries is overloading the alternator. I would make sure all house batteries are charged up before driving as it may overload the alternator if they are both low. Being able to select one or the other should help this while driving, if house charging is needed.

Phil
As I understand, most batteries have an internal resistance and can only charge for about 1/10 their amp hours... initially they might pull above that, but shortly after with heat etc... the internal resistance will kick in. The only exception is lithium batteries.

Abie Sea
Weekend Camper
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:29 pm
B190 Year: 1989
Location: Seattle

Re: Replacing the converter

Post by Abie Sea » Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:32 am

Skater:

It takes me some time between thinking about something and actually doing it. After reading your account I purchased the PD 9206c because our old converter was making noises and may have been the cause of a dead house battery. After more than a year, I finally got around to installing it today. It took a while because mine did not come with a socket for the three prong plug and it took some deliberation before I decided to cut off the plug on the ac feed to the converter and was pleased to find that the three wires were colored white, black and green. I managed to hard wire those to the appropriate locations on the AC side.

There was another delay because the wires attached to the positive terminal on the DC Board where the red wire was to go, were black and green. I was worried because green had indicated ground on the AC side and I was concerned that it was a ground. I was using the same DC board that came with the unit, somewhat different that yours but recognizable. Also the diagram on the cover flap indicated that it was the positive terminal. So I connected the red wire to that terminal and the white to the lower negative post. It took some time to take the plunge and plug in the AC. The AC side works but there was no DC in the cabin when the AC was plugged in. There was also no cabin DC when the battery was reattached and the AC was plugged in. The wizard was flashing slow and steady. I unplugged the AC for the night and will tackle it again in the morning.

I had to use a nut and bolt system to attach the converter to the base plate and the protrusions of the bolts made it difficult to place the box back in the unit. My unit has a transfer switch attached to the back of the panel that governs whether the shore power or Generator feeds the cabin AC. There was a stray yellow wire coming from outside of the bundles connected to the other dc circuits that made things interesting as it came in over the transfer switch and through the back of the panel.

I assume that the blue wire that went from the DC board to the old converter has no function in the new setup as I saw no further mention of it in your account.

I will check back in the morning after I figure things out and see whether I have blown the 25 amp fuses on the DC side of the converter.

Abie Sea
Weekend Camper
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:29 pm
B190 Year: 1989
Location: Seattle

Re: Replacing the converter

Post by Abie Sea » Sat Jul 13, 2019 3:38 pm

Well, it is morning and I have made a few voltmeter checks. Without the AC connected to the inverter, the terminals read 12.58, the same as the house battery under the hood. With the converter is on, it read 13.65, similar to the reading at the house battery under the hood with the AC on to the converter. This would seem to indicate that the converter hook up was not the problem.

The DC side in the Cabin is not functioning. The fuses on the board appear to be functioning properly, i.e. I can not find a blown fuse. None of the circuits are working. I have not experienced this problem in the past. The only thing that has changed is the blue wire that came from the old guts and was seemingly not necessary with the new converter.

Does anyone have any suggestions to identify the problem?

Thanks

User avatar
skater
Site Admin
Posts: 2089
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 1:00 am
B190 Year: 1991
WBCCI: 13270
Location: Annapolis, MD

Re: Replacing the converter

Post by skater » Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:12 pm

Okay, this was a long time ago (looks like I did the writeup in 2008), so I just pulled the cover off mine and confirmed that the blue wire is completely gone. You can see it in the picture of the remnants of the old converter.

From my pictures, I believe it went from the converter to the top of the fuse panel, and this is what supplies power to the fuse panel. Therefore you need to connect it to the positive side of the converter. In my case, the new fuse panel was wired differently and didn't need the blue wire, but if you kept the original fuse panel, you need that blue wire to provide power to the 12 volt appliances, I think. You could also connect the blue wire to the lug with the black wires.

(For all of this, double check everything I say - 12 volt wiring has a tendency to be inconsistent, so make sure what I'm saying is correct with your meter. For example, check continuity from the fuses to the terminal at the top of the panel to ensure that's supposed to be positive.)
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

WBCCI #13270, Washington, DC Unit

Abie Sea
Weekend Camper
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:29 pm
B190 Year: 1989
Location: Seattle

Re: Replacing the converter

Post by Abie Sea » Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:25 pm

Skater: Many Thanks.

I had determined that there was 13.1v potential between the grommit on the board where the blue wire was attached and the positive on the board from the battery and the converter. I was debating whether to jump between the positive terminal and that grommet to see what woild happen. My electrical knowledge was so basic I could not reason whether the result would be a short circuit that would destroy the system or it would confirm that this was a necessary link between the positive terminal and the fuses on the board that would be grounded later in the circuit when switches were on. The blue wire came from a switch in the old guts and I thought that whatever that function was was taken over by the electronics in the new converter. Your response confirmed my possible solution to the problem and I attached the lug on the blue wire to its previous position on the board and the other end to the positive lug that I had thought should have been supplying the board's needs. Voila! the lights came on an all was good with the world, except that now I have to get the fridge working on propane in anticipation of a trip beyond the reaches of the power lines where the sound of a generator are not welcome.

Post Reply