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Author Topic: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer  (Read 606 times)

DearMissMermaid

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Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« on: May 31, 2017, 01:32:57 PM »
Just wondering...

I have converter box, I am plugged into campground.

Is it normal for 12 volt current to fluctuate from the converter box?

Sometimes my 12 volt lights are brighter and sometimes dimmer.

Some are LED and some are regular 12 volt.

http://DearMissMermaid.Com

Living, working. playing  in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

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Kevin Means

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2017, 03:13:39 AM »
When plugged into shore-power and not running heavy loads (like a microwave oven) it is not normal for 12 volt lights to fluctuate in brightness. Minor A/C power fluctuations at a power pedestal are not unusual, but major fluctuations can cause serious problems - both high and low voltage fluctuations.

To troubleshoot, you might want to try running the same lights/devices while on generator power. If the lights still fluctuate in brightness, it could indicate a problem in the coach - perhaps with the converter. If the lights stop fluctuating in brightness while on generator power, there may be a problem with the power coming into the coach.

Are you using a surge protector of any kind? The more expensive ones check for a number of electrical problems, including high and low voltage conditions, and will automatically cut power to the coach if certain parameters are met. They're a good investment IMO.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ or an Acura MDX
RVI Brake 2, Minder TM-66 TPMS, 970 watts of solar
(Can't wait to spend more time RVing)
Lakeside, California

kdbgoat

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2017, 06:01:30 AM »
Asking ya'll out of ignorance-could a weak/bad battery cause fluctuations? Seems a bad battery would not be providing the "cushion" during higher demands, and possibly using up power from the converter trying to keep a bad battery charged.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

mel s

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2017, 12:50:39 PM »
Just wondering...
I have converter box, I am plugged into campground.
Is it normal for 12 volt current to fluctuate from the converter box?
Sometimes my 12 volt lights are brighter and sometimes dimmer.
Some are LED and some are regular 12 volt.
DearMissMermaid
What is a "converter box" and what does it have to do with the 12V lights?

grashley

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2017, 04:08:15 PM »
A Converter takes incoming 120VAC power and converts it to 12VDC, which is used to keep the battery charged and supply 12VDC current to the coach.  In some setups, the converter only feeds the battery, which then feeds the coach.  Newer setups have the converter feeding both, so you can run without a battery when connected to shore power.

DO NOT TOW WITHOUT A BATTERY  This is what supplies power to the brakes in case of a break away.

It would be possible for a bad battery to draw lots of power - dim lights - when charging, and brighter lights when supplying 12VDC without charging, once the battery appears charged.  The bad battery soon would bleed down, and need charged again.
Preacher Gordon
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS - not yet received
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
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It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

jubileee

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2017, 05:28:22 PM »
When our coach did that, it was the converter going bad.  The converter was also over charging the house batteries, about 17 volts.

mel s

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2017, 08:37:30 AM »
DO NOT TOW WITHOUT A BATTERY  This is what supplies power to the brakes in case of a break away.

grashley
I agree.
BTW the OP has a class C motorhome.

grashley

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2017, 10:56:36 PM »
I realize that.  Miss Mermaid is smarter than that, too.  That comment was for future readers who may not know!
Preacher Gordon
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS - not yet received
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

kdbgoat

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2017, 06:02:50 AM »
What bothers me is Miss Mermaid asked that question, and hasn't been back since. That's not like her. I pray she's doing ok.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

ajmilkfarm

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2017, 05:09:28 PM »
I would like to jump in here. I am having a 12v coach problem. I have installed 2 new matching deep cell marine batteries, then I replaced the converter. Now the 12v coach power works as long as I am running off shore power or generator. If I shut down 110 v. current no 12 v. lights work. This has been this way for over a week. As a test I shut down all 110 v. power and ran a jumper wire from pos. battery to 12v fuse block. everything worked!

what next solenoid? aux disconnect switch? help please.
fyi I am in central Kentucky

edit: corrected typo. -ls
« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 11:17:51 AM by Lou Schneider »

JFN

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2017, 08:08:04 PM »
Blown fuse. bad fuse block, bad battery cable.
John & Connie Neal
2006 Dodge 2500 5.9, PacBrake
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2006 KZ 29.5' Durango
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Howard R

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2017, 11:40:18 PM »
As you have 12vdc when the generator is running or hooked to shore power, the converter is working to provide 12vdc to house systems.  While either is supplying AC, take a volt meter (digital works best) and check the voltage across the batteries ... you should see something on the order of 13.2 vdc or a little more.  I'd be willing to bet (a little  ;D  ) that you will be seeing 12v or lower.  If so, that is telling you the batteries are not connected to the house system.

#1 is usually the battery disconnect switch is in the store/disconnect position.

#2 as you just recently replaced the batteries I would look there for a wire that was missed and not reconnected.
 
There are many of us here who could raise our hand to the .... "Don't ask how I know that " question.   ::)   ;D

Let us know what you find out.

Howard
2001 Fleetwood Southwind 35R
V10   F53
2003 Jeep Liberty Toad
Minnesota

JFN

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2017, 01:30:30 AM »
Ah the missed wire, good one Howard.
John & Connie Neal
2006 Dodge 2500 5.9, PacBrake
Smarty Jr Tuned
2006 KZ 29.5' Durango
MaxBrake, Brake Controller
Pressure Pro TPMS
K6JFN

ajmilkfarm

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2017, 04:44:06 AM »
thanks Howard. I will check it out today and let you know

ajmilkfarm

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2017, 02:58:49 PM »
I just tested the batteries as you suggested and you are right. With a digital multi meter it reads 12.42 v.
I guess the next thing i will do is figure how to get at the solenoid. I can see and hear it click but it is not going to be easy to get at it. that will be tomorrows project.

Howard R

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2017, 12:00:13 AM »
By the way...what are you working on...make, model, year?  You can go to top of page and click on profile, then Forum Profile and add it to your signature.  That will help us help you.   :)

Howard
2001 Fleetwood Southwind 35R
V10   F53
2003 Jeep Liberty Toad
Minnesota

Alfa38User

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2017, 08:14:16 AM »
Quote
.... then I replaced the converter. Now the 12v coach power works as long as I am running off shore power or generator.

Makes and models of both old and new are important here as the wiring methods needed may be different.
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

"Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advise!!!"

kdbgoat

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2017, 10:44:14 AM »
Hey Miss Mermaid, did you ever get this straightened out? If so, what was wrong?
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

DearMissMermaid

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2017, 05:55:57 AM »
What bothers me is Miss Mermaid asked that question, and hasn't been back since. That's not like her. I pray she's doing ok.

Aw thanks for thinking of me. I was overwhelmed, still am!

Trying to stay on top of maintenance or finding someone to reasonably work on rig that actually knows their stuff is like a needle in a haystack.

Nothing fixed on converter box. It might be I just need to replace the bathroom light, as that is where I am seeing the wild fluctuations in lighting, or else my aura is just going on off intermittently.

I discovered my converter fan seems to work randomly, it might need replacing. I know it shoudl cycle on for heat and so on. It's $60 for just the fan. This is the 2nd comverter in this rig, I didn't replace it, came with a retrofit  when I bought it.

My rig is only  23 years old.

How could anything dare to go wrong?
http://DearMissMermaid.Com

Living, working. playing  in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

Pack half the stuff and twice the cash.
http://dearmissmermaid.blogspot.com/

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2017, 07:15:48 AM »
The common cause for that sort of thing is a bad battery. The converter/charger tries valiantly to charge it and sends major amps to the battery, momentarily dimming the lights. Then the charger realizes the load is too great and cuts back on the charging amps and the lights get bright again.  Then the cycle repeats the next time the charger samples the battery states and sees the charge level is low.

A poor quality connection on the battery terminals or at the connection to the 12v fuse panel can have the same effect.

A smarter converter/charger will minimize the side effects, but that eliminates the symptom more than fixing the problem.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

DearMissMermaid

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2017, 01:44:33 PM »
Gary if ya ever in my neighborhood...

 ;D

I am in Bushnell, Florida, south of Ocala.
http://DearMissMermaid.Com

Living, working. playing  in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

Pack half the stuff and twice the cash.
http://dearmissmermaid.blogspot.com/

kdbgoat

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2017, 01:55:14 PM »
Bummer, if it were winter, I have a friend that snowbirds in Webster. He'd probably be glad to give a hand.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

javandyke

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Re: Converter Box, Lights are brighter and dimmer
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2017, 02:46:04 PM »
My 3 stage charger will occasionally kick up to 14.2 volts to "equalize" the batteries. My lights will be brighter during this temporary period.
Jim

2011 Sunova 33
2016 Sahara Wrangler

 

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