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Author Topic: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?  (Read 3928 times)

rookieRV

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2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« on: January 07, 2018, 07:53:03 AM »
2005 Winnie Itasca Sunnova, live full-time. I replaced the two 12v coach batteries abt. two months ago (Duracell), when in abt. a 2 day process the indoor lights were dimming. Cleaned up the battery wires and reconnected the 2-stage Parallax power converter (not the first time doing this, sometimes a simple ‘kick’ on the converter box got things running again!) but THIS time I wasn’t so lucky, everything down to the low-current devices failed (thermostats). So I had a hair-brained idea: Being a radio amateur, I have a rarely used Astron RS-35a power supply (rated 13.8v, 26 amps continuous, 35 ICS amps 50% duty cycle). I completely pulled the batteries out of the system (bypassed), wired the Astron in place of the Parallax. Viola! DC “life support” was back on (air thermostat controls, fridge thermostat controls, lights), with the understanding that this would have a lack of ‘backup’ should AC shore fail.

Now we have a need for the propane furnace, however, and that appliance sucks CURRENT (blower,mostly). I consulted with two persons, they both said that the Astron SHOULD be fine (IF I’m running nothing else DC!). Got back from vacationing, and hit the AC for propane heat. Started fine, ignited fine, but after 15-20 minutes, the Astron Power supply’s rear heat sink and 4 transistors were getting a bit warm to the touch, so I shut the heat off. Ran it again briefly this morning, with eventually the same warm result. Just as a test, I pulled the Astron out, and reinstalled the Parallax (batteries still removed from the loop, but the Parallax is rated 45 amps alone). Still nothing from it, even for powering low-current thermostat controls on its own (is it safe to say that the Parallax is shot?)

I take it that, from the fact that the Parallax won’t power the AC thermostat/fridge control on its own (but the Astron will), I can definitely say that the Parallax is ‘dead’, and in need of replacement, no? By bypassing the batteries and going direct from both power supplies (one charger/PS at a time, of course) to the bus bars under the cooking range (nearby where the Parallax charger is/was originally situated, not quite under the sink), with only the Astron working ‘relatively’ okay (as long as I don’t overtax it, current-wise), then I can deduce that there are no ciruit breaker/fuses/battery solenoid switch concerns? Could the new batteries have contributed to any of this failure (in 2 months)? I metered (VOM) the Parallax removed from it all, usually reading zero, rarely about 8-9, but never more. Does it definately sound like I need a new charger/p.s.?
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 10:40:05 AM by rookieRV »

Ernie n Tara

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2018, 08:46:24 AM »
Yes! Also, if you set the power supply output correctly (~13.3V) there is no reason to remove the batteries. It should charge them just fine albeit slowly at that Voltage.

Ernie
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2018, 09:19:22 AM »
The furnace fan draws about 5-6 amps, so that alone should not tax the Astron.  The warmth is either normal or something else drawing power. In any case, get a new converter/charger. 

Could be that one of your new batteries is bad (internally shorted or a weak cell) and drawing amps simply because it's voltage is low relative to the rest of the system. It's rare, but sometimes faulty batteries escape the battery factory.

Gary
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rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2018, 09:38:51 AM »
reply to ernie n tara: So I do need a new charger/converter. I take it that charger/converters... wired in parallel w/ the batteries, as it appears... recharges the batteries @ different rates, depending on its stage (bulk, absorption, float, etc... these are different VOLTAGE? rates of recharge. Yet for, say, the lights to remain reasonably bright, THEY still need the same volts, no?) And REGARDLESS of what stage that the BATTERIES are recharging from the charger/converter, the charger/converter STILL provides enough power (volts and/or current) for all of the DC items (furnace, air thermostats, lights staying bright), IN ADDITION TO properly recharging the batts as two different, yet SIMULTANEOUS functions?

I live in this permanently w/o moving it, could I simply bypass the batteries (and the hassle there) ALTOGETHER (w/ a new converter/charger rated @the same 45 amps as the Parallax was)? Wouldn’t that give enough current on its own?

to wizard: we got these wet cells @ a battery store, mostly sells Duracell, series 24 (like the old batts), MCA 615, CCA 500, 150 mins @ 23A. The kid @ the store claimed that he was selling a sealed (something ‘other than’ wet cell) batt, until I demonstrated the removable ‘pop tops’ for water. Any way to test batts w/o hygrometer or anything? Guess that I could take it back to the store.

Something unusual w/ Astron... when i turn on wife’s Kurig coffee machine, the Astron makes a periodic vibration noise while the Kurig is heating/serving... like transformer or capacitor in Astron being ‘put through its paces’ sometimes. Suprising since the Kurig is a seperate AC appliance.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 10:49:48 AM by rookieRV »

John Hilley

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2018, 12:33:18 PM »
Some converter chargers are rated as converters and power supplies (IOTA). When connected in parallel with the batteries the converter is providing charging current for the batteries and what ever the coach is requiring for lights and etc.

I would get at least a 55 amp replacement, Progressive Dynamics or IOTA

I would also get the Charge Wizard to be able to over ride the automatic function
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rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2018, 07:48:31 PM »
Some converter chargers are rated as converters and power supplies (IOTA). When connected in parallel with the batteries the converter is providing charging current for the batteries and what ever the coach is requiring for lights and etc.

I would get at least a 55 amp replacement, Progressive Dynamics or IOTA

I would also get the Charge Wizard to be able to over ride the automatic function

So I take it, John, that I could go to a slightly larger amperage PS/Charger, w/o any concerns of supplying too much to the number or kind of paralleled batts (two batts parallel, in this instance). Would I have to increase wire size between a larger current charger/PS and the DC distribution bus bar, etc?

I looked at both of those brands of charger/converters, and I figure that either brand with the addition of their respective ‘Wizard’ indicator/controller would be good, in one way or two (some only as indicatiors [Iota], some as indicators and override [PD]). Being a rookie, however, I have to ask: Under what situation would/should I feel the need to MANUALLY ‘override’ between charge modes (bulk, absorption, float)? I mean, the optional ‘Wizards’ allow the charger to do this on their own, right?

Presently leaning to the 45amp Progressive Dynamics (or slightly more current model, maybe),w/ wizard.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 08:00:15 PM by rookieRV »

rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 04:32:36 AM »

Could be that one of your new batteries is bad (internally shorted or a weak cell) and drawing amps simply because it's voltage is low relative to the rest of the system. It's rare, but sometimes faulty batteries escape the battery factory.

Exactly, Gary. That’s why if I know for certain that I can always leave batteries OUT of the loop (as long as the RV is not mobile) then i’d do away with those pains altogether. Could any, or only certain brands/kinds of charger/PSs be done this way?

Ernie n Tara

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2018, 07:13:05 AM »
Leaving them out is likely ok for most chargers but be aware that the batteries serve to filter the charger output. Also, if you replace the battrries again you should know you gave the wrong type for house batteries. Yours are starting batteries best suited for the chassis battery. House batteries will be deep cell andrated in Amp hours rather than starting current.

Ernie
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2018, 08:15:59 AM »
Quote
...if I know for certain that I can always leave batteries OUT of the loop (as long as the RV is not mobile) then i’d do away with those pains altogether. Could any, or only certain brands/kinds of charger/PSs be done this way?

I don't know of any the currently available RV converter/chargers that require having a battery in the loop to operate properly. That has not been the case since the early 90's. There is still a potential power quality concern, but the digital electronic type of converter does not seem to produce the ripple that was so prevalent in the old transformer-driven units.  I'm sure the specifics depend on the quality of the circuit board design, but in my opinion it is not something you need worry about.

Quote
...I could go to a slightly larger amperage PS/Charger, w/o any concerns of supplying too much to the number or kind of paralleled batts (two batts parallel, in this instance). Would I have to increase wire size between a larger current charger/PS and the DC distribution bus bar, etc?

Having a larger supply doesn't push more amps into the batteries - it just makes them available. As for wire size, that cannot be answered without knowing what you now have. Looking back in this topic, I don't see even the present Parallax model info, but the Sunova brochure says it has a 45A converter/charger.  Usually, the wire to the bus and battery are adequate for at least a modest increase. Some power systems have a circuit breaker in a separate battery charge controller, though, and that might be a 50A breaker. Not sure what you have in your rig.

Quote
Under what situation would/should I feel the need to MANUALLY ‘override’ between charge modes (bulk, absorption, float)? I mean, the optional ‘Wizards’ allow the charger to do this on their own, right?

No need to do any manual switching, in my opinion.  Some people like to tinker, but the wizard devices do a fine job on their own.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 08:32:56 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2018, 09:53:12 AM »
I don't know of any the currently available RV converter/chargers that require having a battery in the loop to operate properly. That has not been the case since the early 90's. There is still a potential power quality concern, but the digital electronic type of converter does not seem to produce the ripple that was so prevalent in the old transformer-driven units.  I'm sure the specifics depend on the quality of the circuit board design, but in my opinion it is not something you need worry about.

Having a larger supply doesn't push more amps into the batteries - it just makes them available. As for wire size, that cannot be answered without knowing what you now have. Looking back in this topic, I don't see even the present Parallax model info, but the Sunova brochure says it has a 45A converter/charger.  Usually, the wire to the bus and battery are adequate for at least a modest increase. Some power systems have a circuit breaker in a separate battery charge controller, though, and that might be a 50A breaker. Not sure what you have in your rig.


Not sure of any internal 50 amp breaker, but what I DO know that might be relevant, the RV camp site that we live at has both 30 amp and 50 amp service spots, and we've always used the 30 amp w/ no problems (on the AC/ circuit breaker/ outside box, 'supply' side of things). The current bar graph indicator in the indoor hall only goes to 30 amps (the 'thing' we use to regulate our own total AC current consumption, i.e., no microwave/convection with BOTH air conditioners on simultaneously). Are you suggesting that a higher current breaker may somehow exist FOLLOWING AFTER the outside, lower current (30 amp) one? I dunno...
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 11:14:29 AM by rookieRV »

rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2018, 11:46:53 AM »
Also, if you replace the battrries again you should know you gave the wrong type for house batteries. Yours are starting batteries best suited for the chassis battery. House batteries will be deep cell andrated in Amp hours rather than starting current.


Ernie

You mean, when I replace them again! That kid at that battery store probably fooled me in his 'cross-reference' book... if he actually COULD read... probably should've stayed w/ the exact model of Interstate batteries! Regardless, both of those OLD Interstates that we first replaced where sulfating? (crystalized dry white powder) on the outside, around the braces and contacts (AFTER 5 YEARS CONTINUOUS USE), until they got warm on the sides of them (one batt at a time) and I finally got them out of there (the second batt... left alone after removing the first... was gassing ! Darned right I removed 'em!

Can't say that any lack of purified water was at fault with the Interstates, my wife made me check them for that  RELIGIOUSLY by the month!

So basically I was given Duracell car batts, no? Still have warranty on them, maybe I can exchange them for some correct ones (or my money back, toward buying the correct ones somewhere else?)  RIIIIGHT!
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 11:57:41 AM by rookieRV »

John Canfield

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2018, 12:07:16 PM »
We've had several good battery discussions in this Winnie board (and elsewhere in the forum) so search around - you can get a real good education from the knowledgeable folks here. Know what you are shopping for or suffer the consequences.

My rules of thumb for batteries, starting or house: Replace at three to five years regardless unless you use premium deep cycle batteries for the house. Starting batteries get replaced on my coach about every three years.

I consider premium deep cycle batteries to have AGM chemistry as opposed to the traditional flooded cell (wet.) I have three Lifeline AGM batteries for the house and they will easily last 7-10 years if not abused (abused: not deeply discharging them.) They will accept more charging current and have a very low self-discharge rate (a disconnected battery will slowly discharge due to internal resistance.)
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Lou Schneider

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2018, 03:32:44 PM »
Not sure of any internal 50 amp breaker, but what I DO know that might be relevant, the RV camp site that we live at has both 30 amp and 50 amp service spots, and we've always used the 30 amp w/ no problems (on the AC/ circuit breaker/ outside box, 'supply' side of things). The current bar graph indicator in the indoor hall only goes to 30 amps (the 'thing' we use to regulate our own total AC current consumption, i.e., no microwave/convection with BOTH air conditioners on simultaneously). Are you suggesting that a higher current breaker may somehow exist FOLLOWING AFTER the outside, lower current (30 amp) one? I dunno...

You're confusing amperage at 12 volts versus amperage at 120 volts.  There's a 10:1 ratio between them, i.e. 50 amps at 12 volts is the same amount of power as 5 amps at 120 volts.

The 50 amp circuit breaker Gary mentioned is on the 12 volt side and may be just a little pillbox with two screw terminals coming out of the top.

Regardless, both of those OLD Interstates that we first replaced where sulfating? (crystalized dry white powder) on the outside, around the braces and contacts

Sulfation refers to hard deposits forming on the battery's internal plates if it's left discharged, or the electrolyte level drops below the level of the plates, letting them dry out.  The hard sulfate deposits block the electrolyte from interacting with the plate underneath it, reducing the battery's capacity by making that portion of the plate inactive.

The white power on the external surfaces is corrosion and is a normal part of wet cell battery operation, caused by the acidic electrolyte mist coming out of the battery vents.  It can be neutralized by applying a solution of a baking soda dissolved in water to the affected areas.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 07:50:16 PM by Lou Schneider »

Kevin Means

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2018, 03:40:57 PM »
Agree with John. Of our three motorhomes, this is the first with AGMs, and I love 'em! No one's ever accused me of being lazy, but it's sooo nice not to have to check water levels and specific gravity year after year. No more acid stains on the driveway, no more holes eaten through my shirts. Heck, even the battery terminals never needed cleaning.

I just replaced six of our eight house batteries two days ago, because I had begun to notice that they seemed to not be holding a charge as well as they used to. We boondock a lot, so our batteries get a pretty good workout. They lasted seven years, so no complaints (Well, maybe their price.)

Kev
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John Hilley

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2018, 03:47:08 PM »
From Progressive Dynamics FAQ on Charge Wizard

Quote
I dry camp most of the time and want to recharge my RV batteries using my generator the next day. Is there any way I can get a faster recharge rate?
Yes, all 9100 Series Converter/Chargers are equipped with our TCMS (Total Charge Management System) Connector to allow you to easily install our Charge Wizard. All 9200 Series Converter/Chargers are equipped with the TCMS / Charge Wizard built in. The Charge Wizard senses that your batteries are low and that you want to charge them fast therefore, it automatically increases the output voltage of the Converter/Charger to 14.4-volts and will return a 125-AH battery to 90% of full charge in 2-3 hours. Full charge is achieved in approximately 15 hours.
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rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2018, 06:36:13 PM »
Also, if you replace the battrries again you should know you gave the wrong type for house batteries. Yours are starting batteries best suited for the chassis battery. House batteries will be deep cell andrated in Amp hours rather than starting current.

Ernie

Here’s what I remember re: the batteries:

1- New Duracell pair (SL124MDC) matches the old Interstate pair in two ways: They’re both Group 24s, they both are printed ‘marine deep cycle’.

2- As I recall, the MCA and CCA ratings (for whatever those figures may be worth) were fairly close between the old Interstate and new Duracell battery pairs.

3- Each individual Duracell also had an additional rating marked on them: minutes @ 23 amps, 150 minutes.

So how bad does it sound?
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 08:23:52 AM by rookieRV »

John Hilley

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2018, 10:51:34 PM »
They probably are comparable to what was originally in the motorhome. Depending on how you use the motorhome, they may be more than adequate. If you never dry camp, then they are fine. A group 27 or 29 would have more capacity.
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kdbgoat

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2018, 06:54:49 AM »
Marine deep cycle batteries are not true deep cycle batteries.
Here's a good great article from our library to read:
http://www.rvforum.net/miscfiles/Choosing_right_battery.pdf

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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2018, 10:13:37 AM »
Quote
1- New Duracell pair (SL124MDC) matches the old Interstate pair in two ways: They’re both Group 24s, they both are printed ‘marine deep cycle’.

That's ok. Marine deep cycle" will not last as long as a true deep cycle (see my battery article cited above) but they are also much less expensive. Figure 3 years of use as typical.

Quote
2- As I recall, the MCA and CCA ratings (for whatever those figures may be worth) were fairly close between the old Interstate and new Duracell battery pairs.
Neither MCA nor CCA are relevant to deep cycle performance. They are measurements of engine cranking capability only. The numbers you are concerned about at RC and AH.

Quote
3- Each individual Duracell also had an additional rating marked on them: minutes @ 23 amps, 150 minutes.

That's the deep cycle rating, known as Reserve Capacity. Learn more about RC and AH (amp-hours) at http://all-about-lead-acid-batteries.capnfatz.com/all-about-lead-acid-batteries/lead-acid-battery-fundamentals/what-is-reserve-capacity/
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 10:15:42 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
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rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2018, 05:39:50 PM »
Okay, not to beat on a dead horse, but I found it! the original Interstate batteries running with the Parallax 45 amp, 2 stage charger/converter for the last five years were SRM-24s, 550 CCAs ea., 690 MCAs ea., marine deep cycle group 24s.

New batteries are (were?) Duracell SL124MDC (group 24s), 500 CCAs ea., 615 MCAs ea., 150 minutes @ 23 amps ea., marine deep cycle group 24s (so, yes, they do sound like comparable battery types) The last VOM reading today on the Duracells (direct to batts, all else removed): 11.24 volts.

Does it sound like a new charger would do fine with the present status of the new batt set, or should I bring the batts back to the retailer for testing/charging/replacement while I’m waiting for the new charger/converter to arrive?

As maintenence-free as the other battery types seem, we live here, full-time, on the ‘cheap’. No dry camping/boondocking ever, only my wife that nags me to check the batt water levels every month! But, hey, the old pair lasted FIVE YEARS!
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 06:33:33 PM by rookieRV »

John Hilley

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2018, 11:01:44 PM »
For the sake of the batteries, it might be wise to take them back and have them charged while you are waiting for the converter. For your application the batteries are more than adequate.
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2018, 09:16:00 AM »
Batts are heading back to retailer this Saturday... I figure a week would be long enough to test/charge while getting the  new charger/converter sent this way  8).

The old Parallax had TWO green wires going to the negative ground bus bar, one wire between the charger's negative and the bus bar, the other wire between the charger's metal chassis frame and that same bus bar. Some of these replacement charger/converters do not appear to require any "metal chassis frame to bar" wire (only the typical +/-) ???  :o. Fools like me can thank God for reverse polarity protection, etc.  :-[  ::) I'll look closely before proceeding.

YYesss! They DO have chassis grounding lugs (both PD and IOTA)! Just had to find the installation manuals :-[ ::) Now which one...

So far the PD has it, mostly because the 'wizard' feature works as an extension (I can set the indicator above and not break my back to get an indication of batt charge status). With the IOTA, I'd apparently have to move the entire charger up to really enjoy what benefit that I could reap from that one's 'wizard' indicator (only knowing, not manipulating, if need be).
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 12:02:34 PM by rookieRV »

John Canfield

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2018, 11:57:41 AM »
The chassis frame and house metal bits and pieces are at the same potential as the negative side of the batteries (i.e., connected.) However Winnie brings both negative and positive wires to whatever thingy requires 12V (which is good engineering to avoid ground loops.)
--John
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rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2018, 05:36:30 PM »
Hey, what a coincidence.... as a radio “hamateur”, I’m told to hate ground loops  8) On that side of things, however, from now on I may have to use one of my separate AC to DC Astron power converters, made exclusively for my radios. Unless someone feels that predominantly listening to a .5 amp receive/ 4 amp max transmit radio shouldn’t tax the new 12 volt battery/charger/converter arrangement.  ???

Gee, some sites say to go directly off the RV 12 volts with such radios! ??? The cigarette lighter up front was working fine! I’d miss such minimalizing simplicity!  :-\

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2018, 07:20:35 AM »
WB5THT, Extra Class hamster here (and a volunteer examiner.) Four amps isn't much, I wouldn't worry about it. When we're on the road, I bring my Elecraft K3s and a small switching power supply - it's a bunch easier than trying to run 12V back to the house batteries.  I have several old Astron power supplies that aren't in service - too large and heavy. The better switch mode power supplies are very RF quiet.
--John
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2018, 07:20:08 AM »
Okay...just ordered a new pair of foot long 1 ga. cables for paralleling the coach batts... one of those terminals was nearly as thin as a fuse!  :o Must have been from all of that occasional ‘dremmelling’ off the corrosion that I did to them over the last five years  :-[ Must remember: Baking soda, water ;D (or at the very least, wire bristle instead of stone bit :-[ )

I’m looking at PD9260c... It’s ovverrated on the DC side of things (it would be a 60 amp charger replacing a defunct 45 amp supply). So I know for sure that a higher current charger, alone, could allow all DC appliances run simultaneously w/o breaking any sweat. On the AC side of things, being rated abt. 300 watts more than the old charger, this means that it can handle more, not that it would automatically require more 24/7, once that everything is in place? From the penny-pincher’s perspective, it would only use what is demanded from it, no? Maybe nice, however, to have everything overrated so it won’t be taxed to death... Or could my electric be taxed to death? :o  Hmm...

On the batt side of things, regardless of charger’s amp supply, they all automatically periodically test to see what the batt needs, and adjust volts accordingly (bulk, float, absorption, etc) A higher current charger won’t require a third battery, or anything? I take it that the process of battery charging involves a change in volts, not amps, right?


[quoting Joel]
“Make sure your generator can handle the charger (Power Converter) if you plan to dry camp.

I have a 40 amp charger, 1000 watt generator, and 220 amp hours of battery. They all work together nicely.

40 amps at 14.4 volts plus losses ~600 watts - comfortable for my 1 kw.
60 amps ~ 900 watts - maxes out the 1 kw's continuous rating.”

Oh no, there goes the flexibility (if I opt for a larger converter), if/when I ever do move it!

Anywhoo, just for a lark I bench tested the Parallax for Vout again... This morn 13+ volts from charger, direct to VOM. Swithed out the Astron and in the Parallax, same ‘no DC’ result (fridge, thermostats).

John Canfield, the Icom that I’m using can operate in such a wide volt range (like 9-15v), that any volts typically involved in RVs (batts, chargers, bulk, absorption, float, whatever) couldn’t reach beyond the radios rated specs (w/o failing on their own). Lucky me! N4 Tangled Radio Cables (General, began in the days when everyone still knew Morse)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 10:01:38 AM by rookieRV »

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2018, 02:30:10 PM »
I believe that the 60 amp Progressive Dynamics converter has a 20 amp plug on the AC cord. The receptacle that the converter plugs in to is probably only a 15 amp receptacle. You may have to swap out the receptacle.
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #27 on: January 14, 2018, 08:25:02 AM »
I believe that the 60 amp Progressive Dynamics converter has a 20 amp plug on the AC cord. The receptacle that the converter plugs in to is probably only a 15 amp receptacle. You may have to swap out the receptacle.
The outlet/receptacle that the defunct Parallax used is a 15 amp (common 110, two “vertical prongs” and ground).

A 20 amp outlet/receptacle is of the “left T” design (otherwise the same hole size as the common 15amp receptacles), right?

...Then a larger wire (indoors between the circuit breaker panel box and the new converter/charger’s “T left” receptacle)?

...Then a larger, 20 amp rated circuit breaker swapped/inserted in to the indoor panel box, perhaps wired exclusively to that receptacle (considering the short distance between indoor panel box and present receptacle that serves this function, it could/should already be set up in this general format, with no “sharing” of other receptacle/outlets?)...

...Then the charger/converter hopefully enjoys double protection: First from an indoor 20 amp breaker (exclusively dedicated to the charger’s receptacle), then the 2 outdoor circuit breakers (30 amps total, for entire RV power requirements) in the outdoor breaker panel box...

The math?
PD9260C max continuous input power: 1000 watts (for 60 amps DC out, which we’re not anticipating, we only want circuit breakers to shut off when they should/have to, right?)

On the AC shore side of things, we have a grand total of 110 volts X 30 amps, or 3300 watts AC available

The PD9260C could consume 1000 watts/110 volts = 9 amps power from the AC shore, if I somehow needed full tilt on the DC side of things (not anticipated, just nice to know it’s there “on tap” and not taxing underrated things to death). if I ever reached the need for 9 amps from the charger (highly unlikely), then it would only consume AC current that’s still slightly lower than that of, say, a single air conditioner, the microwave/convection oven, her Kurig Coffee Machine ::), etc.


...Something like this may more than satisfy “daily, continuous living off 110 AC”, but my concerns of powering an overrated converter/charger from the generator (if/when that I ever need to) remain.


« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 08:31:56 AM by rookieRV »

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2018, 10:37:50 AM »
It's a standard 3-prong,  parallel blade 15A plug. It can be seen in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjbtUhXzcxc
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2018, 12:02:15 PM »
So A PD9260 would be “plug-n-play” ?(I mean, why the heck would they use the same shaped plug/outlet configuration, if they don’t expect the same [or less] AC current demands then the last converter’s arrangement?)

I mean, let’s see  ???:
Old Parallax power demands: 110vAC, 775 watts (“full-tilt”?), standard three-prong parallel plug
New Progressive PD9260 power demands: 110vAC 1000 watts (“full-tilt”), same three prong

[quoting John Hilley]
“I believe that the 60 amp Progressive Dynamics converter has a 20 amp plug on the AC cord. The receptacle that the converter plugs in to is probably only a 15 amp receptacle. You may have to swap out the receptacle.”

And yet they both use standard “three-prong, parallel blade”? So what’s to change, the circuit breaker? The AC supply wires? ??? Nothing? 8)

So lemmie understand these multi-stage smart chargers a little more: If I’m full-time parked, AC power on always, coach batteries fully charged, then the charger/converter would supply all the demanded DC, alone, for the DC loads. Additionally, the charger goes into ‘desulfation’ mode every day or so, strictly to keep the coach batteries ‘stirred’ a little (not to have the batts run things, only to keep the batts ready, should the need for them ever arise).





« Last Edit: January 14, 2018, 12:44:23 PM by rookieRV »

John Hilley

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2018, 02:14:52 PM »
It's a standard 3-prong,  parallel blade 15A plug. It can be seen in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjbtUhXzcxc

Mine had the 20 amp plug on it. I changed out the receptacle, but there is no need to change the breaker or the wiring. I believe it had the 20 amp plug because of the wire size in the pigtail.
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2018, 02:18:29 PM »
So A PD9260 would be “plug-n-play” ?(I mean, why the heck would they use the same shaped plug/outlet configuration, if they don’t expect the same [or less] AC current demands then the last converter’s arrangement?)

I mean, let’s see  ???:
Old Parallax power demands: 110vAC, 775 watts (“full-tilt”?), standard three-prong parallel plug
New Progressive PD9260 power demands: 110vAC 1000 watts (“full-tilt”), same three prong

[quoting John Hilley]
“I believe that the 60 amp Progressive Dynamics converter has a 20 amp plug on the AC cord. The receptacle that the converter plugs in to is probably only a 15 amp receptacle. You may have to swap out the receptacle.”

And yet they both use standard “three-prong, parallel blade”? So what’s to change, the circuit breaker? The AC supply wires? ??? Nothing? 8)

So lemmie understand these multi-stage smart chargers a little more: If I’m full-time parked, AC power on always, coach batteries fully charged, then the charger/converter would supply all the demanded DC, alone, for the DC loads. Additionally, the charger goes into ‘desulfation’ mode every day or so, strictly to keep the coach batteries ‘stirred’ a little (not to have the batts run things, only to keep the batts ready, should the need for them ever arise).

Mine came with the 20 amp plug, it may be an anomaly, I only changed the receptacle to match the plug. I have no problem with my Honda 2000 watt generator powering the converter and a coffee maker while boondocking.  There is no need to change the breaker or wiring.
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #32 on: January 14, 2018, 02:27:09 PM »
The Progressive Dynamics catalog does state that the 60 amp has a 15 amp power cord, the 80 amp has a 20amp power cord. Mine must have gotten an 80 amp power cord some how.

Progressive Dynamics catalog
chrome-extension://oemmndcbldboiebfnladdacbdfmadadm/https://www.progressivedyn.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/full_line_catalog-min.pdf
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2018, 03:27:25 PM »
On the dry camping/boondocking/generator side of things, our generator is 5,500 watts (120vAC @ 45.5amps) Would that warrant much more higher caution w/ the addition of a higher current charger/converter?

Wife desired hot water last night for dish washing, I turned on the 8? gal. heater: The good news is, nothing blew!  ;) The other good news: The Astron didn’t get near as hot (as when running the furnace)! 8) The bad news: What heat that the Astron’s heat sink der·ri·čre did gain, it gained in seconds, (not minutes, like with the furnace)! :o We scratched that, and used the Keurig to make warm dish water the next day ;D

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2018, 05:50:00 PM »
You still have some good overhead, worst case scenario is you pop the breaker on the gen set.
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2018, 11:48:57 AM »
If the water heater draws any current at all from the 12 volt system, it is only for a relay and to power the control board. When plugged into shore power or generator, the converter should not be an issue at all for the converter.
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #36 on: January 17, 2018, 12:40:16 PM »
Quoting another post:

"The more amps you get from your converter the faster you recharge batteries. Not all that important if you are on electrical hookup. When dry camping, one must run a generator, either one in the rig or one brought along to do that. The lower the amps in the converter the longer the generator needs to run to recharge. Some folks plug in another charger and use both a the same time. Or even a solar charger too. Be aware if you upgrade to a higher amp unit..some cables may need replaced to handle the increase. AC amps and the 120vac have nothing to do with dc amps out of the converter. The converter is part of the draw from the 120v AC load, along with microwave, air conditioner, tv or anyhting that runs on AC."  [Posted By: suchristo01 on 05/26/11 06:44am]

My own knowledge in this DC power area is a little limited... with a power supply providing what's needed for a motor/lights/radios/etc. I just make sure that the supplied voltage is within the load's range of operation, the supplied current meets or exceeds that demanded. Usually an oversupply of amps work like, "Here I am, if you should ever want/need me".  8)

So here in the process of recharging (with multistage 'smart' chargers), we have various brands of charger/power supplies going through various charge states [bulk, float, absorption] delivering different volt ratings for differing prearranged? sets of time (prearranged time frames, or periodically testing to make the needed volt/charge adjustments accordingly?) Adjustments are made depending upon the batteries needs. Maybe one brand's process (volts supplied on each stage, length of time periods) favors the cheap wet deep cell batteries better than another.  :-\

Most go for a higher rated charger so that if/when they dry camp/boondock, they don't have to run the generator as long to get a good charge (to the 'DC battery' side of things... saving the time, gas, and the generator). But if more amps makes a charger do its job faster (faster usu. doesn't come w/o a cost ;)), what does that in turn, do for the battery? Boil it a little faster? :o Shorten its life a little sooner? :(
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 12:47:16 PM by rookieRV »

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #37 on: January 17, 2018, 01:41:43 PM »
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

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #38 on: January 18, 2018, 09:57:11 AM »
[quoting Lou Snieder, 2008 post]
    "Going to a larger sized converter will not change your charging rate ???.   The output voltage determines how many amps are provided to your batteries. ???  If you're getting a 30 amp charging rate from a 45 amp converter, you'll get the same rate from a 60 amp because the output voltages are the same 8).   The only way your charging rate will change is if it's being limited by the current capacity of the converter???.

Keep in mind your converter has to power all of your 12 volt loads in addition to charging your batteries :)).  How many light bulbs does your rig have?  Each bulb pulls about 2 amps.  Your furnace pulls about 10 amps.  Running the furnace and a half a dozen light bulbs will consume the majority of power available from a 40 amp converter.   Add a couple of discharged batteries and the converter will be running flat out to satisfy the demand.  :(

I don't see any benefit in going to a smaller converter that would have to work harder to do all of this.":))


   So the available current...if meeting or exceeding total demands... has absolutely nothing to do with battery charge rates, frequency of charge states, battery longevity, boil-over preventions... it's all exclusively in the voltage? in which case here we've pretty much decided upon and maintained some conventional protocols (12 volts, +/-), at least for the time being ;D

Between this post, and the site recommended by kdbgoat (very informative), lemmie see if my knowledge has grown a little:

 1- The lead acid wet cell has a volt range that it charges within... when the charger goes with higher volts, it'll invariably accept higher current  (i.e., 'bulk' phase, speeding things up for a while)
 2- 'smart' chargers constantly/periodically/occasionally sense changes (in battery voltage?), and respond in kind with a change in its own volts supplied to the batts.
 3- the batts then only accept what current that they can get  relative to the volts that the 'smart' charger decidedly adjusts for
 4- it's finally all stored as power in the batteries, P=I X E (except for the rest that you use in the RV direct from charger/converter)

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2018, 11:21:03 AM »
The charger portion of the converter/charger regulates the volts applied to the battery and the smarter ones also limit the max amps, this managing the charging process.   The amperage rating for the converter merely defines the maximum available for use, not what actually goes to the battery at any instant.  Furthermore, those max converter amps are shared between the charging function and any other DC consumption, e.g. lights, water pump, etc.  A larger converter allows the charger to run at optimum levels and still have plenty of amps left to power other things.  A too-small rated converter might run short of amps if a lot of things are drawing power at the same time battery charging is active.   However, once you have enough amps to meet the demands, having extra amps available buys you nothing at all.

Higher-end devices can specify a share to be applied charging vs other functions, but that is usually found only in the more sophisticated inverter/converter/charger devices
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 11:24:58 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #40 on: January 18, 2018, 12:10:59 PM »
" A larger converter allows the charger to run at optimum levels and still have plenty of amps left to power other things."

 8) That sounds like my wife waking up on a typical morning here when I'm already gone to work  ;D ...Her Keurig, the furnace or AC, all twenty some-odd lamps/bulbs, and her hair dryer  ::) ;D

 Maybe I should push for an 80 DC amp charger  ???  :o

 I might, if it didn't require rewiring  ;D

 But, honestly, I can't say that she's really that bad. With the AC current panel, she religiously watches our demands on shore power, at least enough to know not to run more than two major appliances at once. Sometimes, in the case of her hot flashes  :o :-[, both of the two air conditioners simultaneously get priority over the convection oven  ;D

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #41 on: January 18, 2018, 02:36:08 PM »
With your setup you would probably never have to rewire. The only cable that would possibly have to be rewired would be the battery cables, but you will never run your batteries down completely on shore power. Even if you did the batteries would never use that many charging amps and the 12 volt coach side of things is fused for the 45 amp converter and wouldn't allow more than when the 45 amp converter was in place.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #42 on: January 18, 2018, 05:45:42 PM »
Quote
That sounds like my wife waking up on a typical morning here when I'm already gone to work  ;D ...Her Keurig, the furnace or AC, all twenty some-odd lamps/bulbs, and her hair dryer

LOL!  But much of what you mentioned is 120v shore power, not DC. The furnace and all those lights are maybe 30A-35A of DC.
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #43 on: January 18, 2018, 06:51:12 PM »
With your setup you would probably never have to rewire. The only cable that would possibly have to be rewired would be the battery cables, but you will never run your batteries down completely on shore power. Even if you did the batteries would never use that many charging amps and the 12 volt coach side of things is fused for the 45 amp converter and wouldn't allow more than when the 45 amp converter was in place.

So, John, going with a higher current converter/charger would serve little purpose :o than, perhaps, having a slightly ovverrated supply that might feel less taxed due to comparatively less demand.. like, say, my 30 amp Astron supplying my radio in receive (500mA)... The Astron never breaks a sweat, has lasted forever 8)

Your right, Gary, my fault ::) much of those are AC.. I have been taking more notice of the RV’s “Energy Management System” AC current consumption display, especially since using the Astron for supplying the DC. Flick on one pair of lights: another 1 amp+/-; a ‘pair of pairs’ (lights up front): another 2+/-. It adds up, on the AC side of things, too!

What you say, John, makes sense in another respect... I mean, why would an RV manufacturer place a totality of DC loads and their totality of fuses demanding from a power supply/charger of inadequate current? :o (and how often do we RV campsite “shoremen” really demand that much DC load at one given time?) ???

I have read that site on lead acid batteries (recommended by kdbgoat), and of numerous persons who have suffered with failing DC 'aux' switches/solenoids/relays (as for me, I often I just tend to forget checking that darned DC 'aux' switch when I climb in), What if I, say, got rid of the solenoid switch mess, put a knife switch in on the coach batt positive, occasionally close it to allow the charger to charge 'em, then open the batt pos knife and allow the charger to supply exclusively to any other DC loads (besides batts), direct to the bus bar/fuses/DC equipment (as the charger/PS usu. is wired, but here w/ batts left removed in a true sitby, batts removed w/o a doubt when knife positive switch is broken). I mean, that site kdbgoat referred me to said periods of months that unused lead acids could go w/o a charge (although I'm sure that a little more often may prevent sulfation?) The batts get involved, when I want/need them to get involved, w/ one less actively failing component (solenoid relay/switch) involved.

Okay, my fault?... quoting kdbgoat recommended site Batteryuniversity: "Lead acid batteries must always be stored in a charged state [does this mean charging present or charged up past tense?]. A topping charge should be applied every 6 months to prevent the voltage from dropping below 2.05V/cell and causing the battery to sulfate"

The Winnie manual says: "Auxiliary Battery (Aux. Batt) Switch The AUX BATT switch disconnects the auxiliary (coach) batteries from the 12-volt system of your coach to avoid long-term battery drain by electrical items that are hooked directly to the coach batteries, such as clock displays and radio memories, etc. Always leave this switch ON except during storage periods."

Sooo
1-WHAT does this 'aux' switch connect/ disconnect (I don't relate a clock display w/ a furnace fan)? ???
2-Which state does the solenoid relay require power for switching to (I wouldn't think that it would actuate relay to disconnect batt, or then maybe that relay coil is really put through its paces (full-time relay coil actuating power), for us 24/7 'shoremen', at least)? ??? Regardless of where the power comes from, you can't expect to hold a relay in forever :o

« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 09:56:49 AM by rookieRV »

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #44 on: January 19, 2018, 09:20:20 AM »
The solenoids are for convenience, of course, but also because most of us forget to open and close manual switches, especially for things that work best with some advance planning. Life happens, and we get distracted.  You have a battery disconnected, and then realize you need it and find it totally discharged because it hasn't been switched to the charger recently.  Or you go to turn on a light at night and realize you forgot to switch the power on while it was still light outside. Or whatever.
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #45 on: January 19, 2018, 09:55:20 AM »
Batteries will self-discharge due to internal resistance, some faster than others due to their particular battery chemistry. The best long term solution for battery health is a continuous float charge at the appropriate voltage. I've owned our Horizon since it was new and the battery banks have always had a float charge.

Charging a battery twice a year might or might not work well. Chances are my Lifeline AGM house batteries could remain at rest for six months but there is zero reason to attempt this.
--John
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #46 on: January 19, 2018, 11:28:41 AM »
The Battery Disconnect Solenoid, is a latching relay and only needs a "pulse" of 12 vdc to change states. The coil is only actuated momentarily and not continuously.

How Battery Disconnect Relay Works
https://www.rvtechlibrary.com/electrical/battery_disconnect.pdf
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #47 on: January 19, 2018, 11:33:29 AM »
So I guess that I should give up on that wacky idea :-[, leave it as is, keep flicking the 'aux' switch (located inside of the entry door stairway, to make sure it's in the on position while 24/7 'shore' living), and be ready to eventually replace a solenoid and/or switch when it goes kaput :( Would such replacement be like simply pulling out and replacing a vacuum tube 8), or SMT soldering with a shaky hand :o?

Oh, momentarily, not continuously...:-[  A latching relay, in effect? 8) After reading abt. them, I'd almost bet that frequent use lubes the mechanics/contacts involved, huh ;)
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 12:09:21 PM by rookieRV »

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #48 on: January 19, 2018, 03:21:45 PM »
Very simple to replace. The way you are using power, there is never a reason for you to switch it. I have two motor homes and they are plugged in all the time when at home. When we travel we almost exclusively boondock and dry camp with solar power. I never switch mine. You have nothing to worry about once you get a new converter.

The solenoid/relay that is more troublesome is the Battery Isolation Solenoid that separates the house and chassis batteries.
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #49 on: January 19, 2018, 05:53:39 PM »
Sorry if I’m seeming more and morelike a worrywart, gentlemen, but I greatly, greatly appreciate all of your wisdom and advice. Good news! The 1 ft. 1 ga. batt parallel cables came in today!  :D The terminals are great (at least compared to the aged/shaved ones on there before ::)), lots of contact surface area! 8)

Now, in addition to the pair of 1 ga +/- feeding off the batts into the RV, there are a pair of 8-10 ga wires (+ and - , both fed loosely together inside a shared black split wire loom). The positive of this smaller pair has an inline screw-in fuse, rated 50 amps (VOM says fuse is still good), but one (both?) of these terminals meant for the batt posts are quite ”thin”, somewhat lacking in overall exposed surface area (I think that they’ve been this way since we’ve had this RV for the last 5 years, and the occasional sanding/dremmelling probably hasn’t helped much, either) I pulled out the 32volt, 50 amp fuse and held it beside the cable’s terminal... the cable’s terminal appears to barely exceed the fuses metal thickness/width/surface area, overall. If I find a washer large enough, then the 1 mm thick terminal closed loop may provide about a .5 cm X 1 cm area of contact, between the terminal’s closed hole and its crimped end. While the width of the opposite half completes the loop (it surely still holds it on the post okay), it provides little by way of contact (1 mm width going around this second half of the closed circle). May be time for new terminals (wish that I could show it)? One of these would obviously have to be replaced “at the scene” :'( Wonder if my present Greenlee hand ratcheting crimpers could be adapted for anything comparable...

So, I have two coach batteries, feeding to/from what with the black/red, 1 ga. cable pair?

Same two coach batts, feeding to/from what with the thinner, 8-10 ga./50 amp fused cable pair?


   

« Last Edit: January 20, 2018, 08:17:29 AM by rookieRV »

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #50 on: January 20, 2018, 07:06:57 AM »
....So, I have two coach batteries, feeding to/from what with the black/red, 1 ga. cable pair?  Same two coach batts, feeding to/from what with the thinner, 8-10 ga./50 amp fused cable pair?
Have you printed out your wiring diagram?
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #51 on: January 20, 2018, 09:40:37 AM »
So far on the schematic I’ve found two parallel coach batts going w/ “1/0” ga red positive to battery mode solenoid (and to 1 ga. going to batt disconnect relay, by series extension) and “1/0” ga black to a negative bus bar... and no other wire pair going to any other load off batts ???

Whew! I looked back at the site that I ordered the 1ft. 1 ga parallel batt cables from, they say 1 ga for 245 amps continuous, or 1/0 ga for 285 amps continuous (and you can’t have an oversized cable [until you need a fuse ;)] right?) The old used ones are 1/0 ga, but the Winnie schematic says 1 ga between batts. I doubt that it makes much difference. ???

A 45 amp charger/converter (the now defunct one), and a 50 amp fused 10 ga positive wire going to coach batts. Related? ??? What are these 10 ga wires doing/going from the batts to? ???
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 07:57:46 AM by rookieRV »

John Canfield

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #52 on: January 21, 2018, 07:29:38 AM »
....What are these 10 ga wires doing/going from the batts to? ???
If they aren't documented, they might have been added by a previous owner (assuming you haven't owned it since new.)
--John
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #53 on: January 21, 2018, 09:06:56 AM »
Once that I get a new charger/converter (or even now, I guess), I could VOM test the 10 ga. fused red positive against its negative 10 ga black counterpart.

Or the, “Don’t connect the 10 ga fused to batts, and see what doesn’t work.” test ;D

Or the really hard way, and get underneath to try and “follow the black split loom path” (when the weather gets a little better) ;D
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 11:43:47 AM by rookieRV »

CharlesinGA

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #54 on: January 21, 2018, 08:34:53 PM »
Progressive Dynamics 4645 or 4655 would be a slide in replacement for the existing Parallax unit, about a 30 minute to 1 hr swap and made for this exact replacement scenario.

http://www.bestconverter.com/4600-series-Upgrade-Kits_c_133.html

Eliminates cooked batteries. I only have to add water twice a year, if that.

Charles
2007 Winnebago View 523H on a 2006 Dodge (Daimler-Chrysler aka Mercedes) Sprinter 3500 chassis (T1N). Bought Sept 2015 with 18K miles on it, Prog Ind HW30C, Prog Dymanics PD4645, Coleman Chill Grille, PML/Yourcovers.com deep alum trans pan, AutoMeter 8558 trans temp gauge, Roadmaster sway bar, Koni Red shocks (front & rear), Fantastic Ultra Breeze hood, added OEM parabolic mirrors and RH aspherical mirror, MB grill conversion.
2007 Winnebago View 523H, 2006 Dodge (Daimler-Chrysler aka Mercedes) Sprinter 3500 chassis. Bought Sept 2015 with 18K miles, Prog Ind HW30C, Prog Dynamics PD4645, Chill Grille, Fanstatic Fan Ultrabreeze, PML/Yourcovers.com deep alum trans pan, Roadmaster sway bar

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #55 on: January 22, 2018, 08:24:31 PM »
CharlesinGA, I like the format of those models of charger/converters, particularly because one has access to the ‘guts’ (fans, resistors, capacitors, etc.) of the appliance 8). My 2005 Itasca, however, has ‘pop rod’ DC circuit breakers already built into the upper right of the steel power panel (across from the AC circuit breakers, on the upper left). While the power panel may offer adequate space for these charger’s sheet metal box chassis down below, it may require cutting off the lower half of the electrical panel :o (for mounting/air/access). The RV here is pretty much set for a ‘closed appliance’ charger/converter (but so far,  the cases of all these ‘plug-n-play’ chargers appear riveted together like my Parallax was >:(, instead of bolts/screws... even my Astrons give me accessability :)). The Parallax charger was screwed to the floor in a crevasse underneath of the kitchen drawers, and most all properly rated ‘sealed appliance’ replacements seem small enough to fit in that area.8)

The DC distribution is pretty much established, from the charger (in the kitchen) to a bus bar (one in the kitchen) to the individual DC circuits (and DC circuit breakers, at one [or 2 points? More DC breakers @ propane tanks!], somewhere along the way). Besides, being a simple 3-wire ‘install & plug’ (the closed box ‘plug-n-play’, ‘sealed appliance’ charger/converter variety), why should I want DC circuit breakers replaced with fuses (do I really want/need to go that far)? ???

Wait! Some Iota use chassis screws! 8) 8)

But most of the Progressives have their sole vent holes on the opposite side of the fan (pulling air across the entire internal area 8) (and the wired wizard) 8)

Hmmm...

« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 09:39:20 PM by rookieRV »

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #56 on: January 31, 2018, 03:02:53 PM »
Okay, my accountant (she doubles as my wife  ::)) has told me, “Buy it.” One issue remains on my mind: Most every brand these days are switching square wave power supplies (not pure sine wave/linear, like, say, the Astrons for my radios 8)). Which brand of charger/converter is the least likely to require additional Faraday shielding/ brute force chokes/ filter capacitors to keep their noise out of my HF radios >:( >:(?
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 04:26:02 PM by rookieRV »

John Canfield

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #57 on: January 31, 2018, 05:26:22 PM »
I have the pure sine wave 2,000 watt Magnum and it's very RF quiet (I use my Elecraft K3s in the coach.) I think most of the higher end non-PSW inverters are modified sine wave, i.e., stepped.
--John
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #58 on: January 31, 2018, 05:27:59 PM »
If your current converter didn't interfere, I wouldn't be concerned about any of the better converters.
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Lou Schneider

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #59 on: January 31, 2018, 06:27:16 PM »
Your Astron is a linear supply, all of the inverters I know of use some kind of switching.  Either twice a half cycle to produce a pulsed output (not an actual square wave) or using more steps to approximate a sine wave output.

Pretty much all of them meet the FCC Class B noise standards, but you can get more noise suppression by sending their input and output wires through ferrite cores, etc.  It also helps to make the DC input wires into a twisted pair instead of leaving them straight to act like an antenna between the inverter and the batteries.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2018, 06:29:11 PM by Lou Schneider »

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #60 on: February 01, 2018, 12:44:15 PM »
rookieRV is concerned about the converter, not inverter. He is planning on a Progressive Dynamics converter.

Here is an article by K7TTY about RF in an RV
http://www.k7tty.com/recreation/rfi.htm
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #61 on: February 01, 2018, 06:28:34 PM »
rookieRV is concerned about the converter, not inverter. He is planning on a Progressive Dynamics converter.

Here is an article by K7TTY about RF in an RVj
http://www.k7tty.com/recreation/rfi.htm

That’s right, John, a CONverter, not INverter. The article by K7TTY was informative. However, the Parallax unit 7300 (gee, I used to have a Parallax ;D) that is highly praised there is of a “power center” design, not of a “sealed appliance box” design that I”m replacing (for simplicity? or convenience sake).

Quoting K7TTY:
“They [PD] recommend that :
Make sure your converter is not near or around antenna wires. :o
Some customers have found that turning the converter 90 degrees helps. ::)
Some have gone as far as to build a cage over the unit to catch RF. [gee, an idea of mine, too] ::)
Really the only sure fire cure at this time is to disconnect the converter from AC and run on just battery power when using your radio and connect to AC when done.” :o

Buuut, K7TTY gives much praise for Parallax [at the very least, a particular model of Parallax, the 7300 series “power center” design]. While he additionally gives praise to Parallax for UL type acceptance (regarding the issue of rfi...apperantly, the other brands (PD in particular) don’t enjoy this acceptance), I have perused through the newer Parallax ‘appliance’ models (4445)... while they will absolutely positively say that they could function w/o any batts [like the Iota]8), they seem uncertain as to describe themselves ‘multi-stage, smart chargers’ or not :-\. The only word that they seem to take time to come and patently mention outright is, ‘boost’. Wait a minute, another site does say “The 4435 Deckmount Converter by Parallax Power Supply is a three current stage [not 2 or 4]...” While the new Parallax models do have batt temp gizmos, they don’t appear to have any ‘charge state/wizard/dumb indicator’-like options.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 04:16:05 AM by rookieRV »

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #62 on: February 03, 2018, 05:17:13 AM »
I just did a keyword search, “rv charger converter type b compliance”. WFCO (and maybe one Parallax ‘power center’ design) were the first (so far the only) plastered all over the search results. :-\

Then the WFCO manual says,
“NOTE: This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to Part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference when the equipment is operated in a commercial environment. This equipment generates, uses, and can radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instruction manual, may cause harmful interference to radio communications. Operation of this equipment in a residential area is likely to cause harmful interference in which case the user will be required to correct the interference at his own expense.”

According to one RVer, there are class A and B acceptance, and sometimes one of them (wholly unapplicable to a full-time RVing ham) is used as a cover for the fact that the devices fail to meet the other of the two type acceptances, on the issue of interference. >:(  If the maffia ever wanted to rip my store off, they would simply come in the front door, demand funds, and call it “protection”.::)
« Last Edit: February 03, 2018, 06:17:19 AM by rookieRV »

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #63 on: February 03, 2018, 07:10:11 AM »
As long as you use a major brand of inverter/charger, you won't have RFI problems. I use Powerwerx switchers for my K3s and Kenwood TS-590 in the ham shack and they are very RF quiet. I have several old Astron linear power supply boat anchors in my storage building and that's where they will stay. Probably should sell them.
--John
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #64 on: February 04, 2018, 04:55:04 AM »
I just removed my Barker/Williamson AP/10B :-[ antenna from the rear view mirror, sent it further outside on the picnic table (via 40’ more rg-58), and now the rfi from my crt TV in the front of the RV is virtually gone 8)! I don’t know why that I was focusing so much at the length to loss figures for rg-58 (maybe because it’s a QRP radio :-[ ;D). Antenna-wise, anything shorter than 1/2 wavelenth up from ground is still a NVIS ‘cloud warmer’ ;), so I figure that 3-4 feet higher on a rear view mirror should really make little difference. I finally said, “To heck with it, let’s see where it would get me anyway.” Then unrolled the wire counterpoise 35-40 feet to the antenna @ the table, and it rocks;D on 40! 8) Now to keep the weekly weed eater man (and my wife) from cutting/tripping over the coax/counterpoise::) >:(!

I’m looking at a 45 amp PD. I’ll give PD a call today, one site suggests that things may not be ‘on the level’ re: honoring warrantees. One site suggests a need for a reciept, warranty, contractual agreement, fiduciary pledge, notary, and solemn blood oath promise, all because of bogus serial #s out there! :o
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 04:40:27 AM by rookieRV »

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #65 on: February 06, 2018, 06:57:29 PM »
I ordered a 45 amp PD... but the process was frought with difficulty. PD asked what state I live in and gave two ‘recognized distributors’. One whose website says they have been out of business since the last hurricane here, the other professes themselves as “wholesale distributors” who only sells to retail outlets? :o! RV retail dealer #1 nearby me didn’t answer the phone ::). RV retail dealer #2, says that they don’t have it in stock “right now”, but could put it in my hand tomorrow :o, for abt. $75.00 more ::) than some online deals (but I’ll get reciept/warranty/product in hand, w/o fighting for USPS ‘snail mail’ service (many online dealers must send via UPS/FedEx signed for on the spot, and my campsite here won’t exactly sign for it in my absence when I’m away at work:(!) So I finally caved in, we should pick it up Thurs-Sat. The batts still have to be returned for testing/replacement/charging, so we have a while to go ???

Those two 8ga. wires w/ super-fine closed loop terminals (the positive fused for 50 amps inline near batts)? I heated solder all around the batt terminal’s holes, then filed them smooth and even on both sides (expanding their touch contact surface area). The solder is abt as wide as the washers installed with them. I don’t think it’ll make much difference, for afterward I replaced the negative fuse/terminal, and VOM metered them against each other: abt. .01 volts??? on a 50 amp fuse?:o

While looking for ways to crimp heavy guage 00-10 ga. vehicle/RV cable (I’ve only had the need for crimping butts/terminals in the 12-22 ga range before, I figured that it was time to ‘upgrade’, for the RVs sake). All of the pricey hydraulic ratcheting arm-length ‘switching die’ doodads. A tutorial on how to pound a flatheat screwdriver to dent a terminal lug. I wondered, “How does one keep the screwdriver from slipping off (and/or hitting your hand, by extension)?” :( I discovered a tool more than appropriate for as infrequent as I may have the need to crimp terminals of these large sizes (at one third of the price, too 8) ): A hammer crimper tool! Simplicity at its finest! 8)
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 09:33:19 PM by rookieRV »

Lou Schneider

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #66 on: February 06, 2018, 11:08:51 PM »
Amazon has the PD 9245 for $177, in stock.  How does that compare with your sources?

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #67 on: February 06, 2018, 11:34:18 PM »
Amazon has the PD 9245 for $177, in stock.  How does that compare with your sources?

Wonderful, buuut ;D! There was a site, apperantly made by PD themselves :o, explaining of con artists selling units w/ invalid (if any) serial number, required for warranty work.

   https://www.progressivedyn.com/service/ 

  “Are you purchasing a Progressive Dynamics product on the internet? Before you buy, ask the seller about their warranty procedures. Does the retailer provide a "working" customer service or service department phone number? Does the Progressive Dynamics product that you are buying have a valid serial number? Some online retailers are selling Progressive Dynamics' products without a valid serial number...DON'T BUY THEM! We must have a valid serial number for all warranty service work. A valid serial number allows your warranty service topics to be handled smoothly and with ease.”

 Then who does one go to for validation? The one who is or is not going to honor it, PD! The phone call begins w/ some thing reminescent of my HMO: "...Dial 'X' for sales/retail... dial 'Y' for technical... dial 'Z' for the NE Patriots... dial 911 for emergencies, etc, etc. ;D".  Then PD themselves gave me two sources that they recognize, based upon what “state” that I live in: One source out of business due to the last hurricane, the other a “wholesale distributor” that deals strictly through retail outlets, not direct to the clientele :o(perhaps like my father’s 40 year HVAC business having a commercial account with Grainger... he could order me starter capacitors instantly, faster than [if I even could] myself). I even suggested BestConverter, who had good deals much like Amazon: “Huh? Who? Where?” response from PD. Should I cancel/return/charge-back this item from my card, and assume that it’s all a con? Then we’re back to square one...Which other brand, from whom? >:(
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 07:23:55 AM by rookieRV »

John Canfield

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #68 on: February 07, 2018, 07:21:05 AM »
Buy from Amazon - you have 30 days to return it for any reason. When and if it croaks, buy another one from Amazon.
--John
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #69 on: February 07, 2018, 07:40:54 AM »
Buy from Amazon - you have 30 days to return it for any reason. When and if it croaks, buy another one from Amazon.

But even at $175-$200, I don't expect this appliance to work on a system of attrition, treating it like replacing my weekly dose of potato salad (The bucket of potato salad is +/- $5.00/week!):o! I like the idea of a two+ year warranty, you know, standing behind the product from the manufacturer on down::)

The 30 days would be great, if PD is willing to validate the item's serial #, at least.

I'll bet you that this local RV store that I bought it from would have a 'restocking fee' if I cancelled (abt 20% aught to do it >:(), so I'm probably pretty much out of luck :'(. At least it may have bought me the 'convenience of expeditious facilitation' :-\
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 08:09:53 AM by rookieRV »

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #70 on: February 07, 2018, 08:25:03 AM »
I think you've managed to make a simple purchase into a complex issue. There are plenty of reputable online sources, and local RV stores can generally get most anything within a few days, though they mostly do not discount from MSRP.

If you don't trust Amazon, how about one of these well-known and reputable online RV stores:
http://www.bestconverter.com/PD-9245C-148-45-Amp-RV-ConverterCharger_p_610.html#.WnsL-udG1PY
https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/electrical-plumbing-lp-gas/rv-electrical-systems-and-accessories/converter-chargers/inteli-power-9200-converter_55-9008
https://www.rvupgradestore.com/Inteli-Power-9200-Converter-45-Amp-p/55-9008.htm
https://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/Progressive-Dynamics-9245-Converter-p/vts-320.htm
Gary
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Gary Brinck
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #71 on: February 07, 2018, 08:36:35 AM »
Please keep in mind this one is from a site sponsor:

https://www.rvupgradestore.com/Inteli-Power-9200-Converter-45-Amp-p/55-9008.htm

It certainly doesn't hurt to help them help us.
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John Hilley

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #72 on: February 07, 2018, 10:11:33 AM »
I bought mine from eBay and got a good price, free shipping and a serial number.
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #73 on: February 07, 2018, 01:51:51 PM »
Okay, I will make an attempt to cancel my present purchase ??? :o, if one of Gary’s or kdbgoat’s suppliers can ‘snail-mail’ it to my campground’s mail booth, without a signature on delivery (abt the only way that I can recieve anything bigger than an envelope here :-[).

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #74 on: February 07, 2018, 02:11:04 PM »
I can't take credit for any supplier, they were Gary's. I was just pointing out one of them was a site sponsor.
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


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rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #75 on: February 08, 2018, 11:21:44 AM »
The GREAT news... the RV retailer will refund me (in 3-6 days ::))! Plenty of time to begin the batt's examination. Other good news: Bestconverter will snail-mail to me. In the short conversation that I had, they seemed eager to push Boondocker converters, but  at this point, almost anything that's reasonably rfi clean and $75-$100 cheaper 8)!

Update... sent batts in to retailer this afternoon, made it clear that one/both of these new batts may be responsible for my recent need of a new charger/converter (bad cells, etc. ::)) so I obviously want ‘no doubts’;). Getting a full charge and load test (I’ll do hydrometer test??? myself, if it would help). Told them to take their time (it’ll take one week for refund and one for snail-mail delivery, after all). The hunt continues 8)...
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 04:55:18 PM by rookieRV »

John Canfield

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #76 on: February 09, 2018, 07:15:02 AM »
Specific gravity is the most foolproof way to check state of charge for a flooded cell battery. Load testers aren't that expensive, check yourself.
--John
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rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #77 on: February 11, 2018, 12:17:56 PM »
The prices of load testers... at first glance... are all over the place! Some are around $20.00, some go up to abt 4X that+ :o! What can one do that the other one can’t ???? Which do I need?

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #78 on: February 11, 2018, 04:09:48 PM »
Usually the price is based on the load they present and other than that can't do anything the others can't
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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #79 on: February 14, 2018, 09:18:27 AM »
Okay. PD charger on the way 8)... Weather this Friday/Saturday on my side 8). Pick up batts Friday, supposedly fully charged (or replaced via warranty). Turn off everything (appliance) indoors. Turn off outdoor circuit breakers. Unplug the male outdoor shore plug, inspect the inside of the male plug for good connection (it's one of those "screw on" types, sure beats the cost of pulling off an entire 20'+ cable AND molded-on male plug each time that a problem arises w/ the male plug). Go back inside, cut and dress the last .5" of 12 volt 10 ga cables going from charger/converter (twist wrap + and - around each other, for rfi). Connect Charge Wizard. Connect chassis ground 8 ga. wire to charger chassis, then 8 ga. positive to charger's positive, then 8 ga. negative to charger's negative. Set batts inside stairs. Insert brand new 1' 1ga. cables parallel between batts. Connect RV's 00 ga. red positive cable (maybe steel-bristle/Dremmel the 00 terminal a little, 'clean up') to first batt's positive post, lay 50 amp fused 8 ga. positive cable (now terminal's loop area enlarged w/ solder) above on same positive batt post, then flat washer, split ring washer, nut (or wing nut), and tighten all on first batt's positive post (think, "contact surface area").  Connect RV's 00 ga black negative cable (maybe bristle-Dremmel 00 terminal) to second batt's negative post. Lay 8 ga. negative (terminal contact area now enlarged w/ solder) above on second batt's same negative post, then flat washer, split ring washer,  nut (or wing nut), tighten (again, think, "contact surface area"). Go inside, plug in charger/converter's 110 indoor receptacle. Go outside, reconnect 30 amp shore plug. Turn back on the 2 circuit breakers. Go inside: Are thermostats/fridge indicators functioning? Turn on indoor lights: How bright are they? What's charger current consumption w/ everything else off (usu. 1-2 amps). Overall current consumption relative to each added DC item (first lights, then hot water, then furnace). The wizard indicator is basically designed to blink slower, the closer that the batts are to a full charge. Ergo, what should I expect from a pair of batts that are already charged at this point (does it have to start in a boost mode regardless)? 
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 09:11:29 AM by rookieRV »

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #80 on: February 14, 2018, 11:55:33 AM »
Will probably be in Boost for a brief period of time and shortly go to Float
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rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #81 on: February 17, 2018, 04:40:14 AM »
Just got the PD in the mail ;D! Went back for the original batts, however, and they both failed their own load test :o! The kid @ the batt specialty store seemed more than willing to swap them out...too willing ???(I didn’t even bring the original purchase receipt last night!) No diagnostic report was left on the old batt pair’s tag to explain their condition/progress: They’ve been there for about two weeks. Nothing to apprise status, like, “Yeah, we charged/prepped them, gave it a load test last ‘Tuesday’, and they both failed” was offered, the kid there knew no more than me (as if everything that was done was only done @ the last moment, when I went to pick them up last night ???) The terminals of the new pair looked okay, not much filing clean down ;D (you know what I’m suspecting... customer recycling... too bad that I can’t simply look on the bottom of the batts, for ‘scuff marks’ as the disqualifier ::)) Checked the new??? pair out on their load test (like the originals, right in front of me), and they seemed to pass. :-\ Somehow I get a feeling that I may be back there. >:(
« Last Edit: February 17, 2018, 05:57:24 AM by rookieRV »

John Hilley

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #82 on: February 17, 2018, 02:24:14 PM »
What is the date on the batteries?
2003 Winnebago Adventurer 38G
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rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #83 on: February 18, 2018, 08:28:55 AM »
Date 1/18... but we’re talking a inch round sticker stuck on the top of the batt, not anything engraved ;D! I hooked it all in, air conditioner/fridge thermostats functioning 8), inside incandescent lights good 8). The wizard has been in a “slow blink” (turns on/off for abt 1 second, in three second cycles [in other words, if you count from the first time that the LED turns on to the next time that it turns on, that’s about 3 seconds]), which the PD manual doesn’t really recognize. The manual: “Normal Mode- When the battery is between 50 and 90% charged, the green LED will flash once per second [this is my best guess of present status]. When the battery has reached 90% of full charge the green LED will flash 2-3 times per second [probably not the case here, yet]...Storage mode- indicated by green LED flashing every 6-8 seconds [definately not the case, yet].”

rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #84 on: February 21, 2018, 11:09:46 AM »
Well, four or so days and the wizard is briefly blinking once about every 6-8 sec... "Storage mode"! 8) ;D :)) I'll keep my eye on it, but things are overall looking muuuch better (I can tell just by looking at the lights)! Thanks so much for all of your help, John H, John C, kdbgoat, Gary, et al.  :)

John Hilley

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #85 on: February 21, 2018, 12:00:57 PM »
Any RF noise problems?
2003 Winnebago Adventurer 38G
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1999 Winnebago Brave 35C
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rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #86 on: February 23, 2018, 11:12:31 AM »
No more rfi than before ;D, which seems to be caused by the crt television (and that's "band selective", when/if the crt is turned on) 8). I'm building an interface circuit in an Altoids Tin box, to do real FSK RTTY (not AFSK) with my Icom '703... Tired of trying to feed soundcard-based digital audio into the radio with a Nomic, and having the radio's ALC 'splatter' meter 'dance the Watusi'::). The radio has real FSK, I thought that I'd try to utilize it  :)
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 11:15:07 AM by rookieRV »

John Canfield

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #87 on: February 24, 2018, 07:23:12 AM »
All of the digital action is now FT8 and uses USB drivers for sound in and out of the PC. It's quite easy to adjust receive/xmit sound using the user interface to check levels.
--John
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rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #88 on: February 24, 2018, 06:17:36 PM »
Once that I discovered that my 15-20 year old, 16 bit XP tower was incompatible w/ the wifi where I live :o(there goes all the advanced modes, some requiring ‘Cesium atomic’ synchronisity), along w/ my aforementioned problems w/ Icom ALC (audio splatter uncertainty), I’ve pretty much given up on the possibility of many of the ‘exotic’ modes. I don’t intend on getting a new computer in the near future, just to be bombarded w/ more proprietary hardware/software issues >:(. Besides, ‘keeping up with the Jones’ will only become my M.O. when/if HF spectrum comes at a premium. I just sit back, watch the kids slurping on their cell phones while I’m at work ::) (no, really, I once saw a baby bottle nipple decoration on the top of a middle school kid’s cell phone... a symbol of dependency?::)), and most of my worries of losing my fun hobby subside. :)

John Canfield

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #89 on: February 25, 2018, 07:49:18 AM »
WSJT should run on old hardware, for time synchronization you need a little NTP applet to run as a service, most of us use Meinberg NTP. Or better yet, install Linux on your old hardware - it will be quite happy and there's a version of WSJT for Linux.
--John
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rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #90 on: February 26, 2018, 11:02:36 AM »
I just finished the W3YY interface (in an Altoids Tin ;)) late Sunday ;D, and have begun testing. RX worked on first shot! 8) It's keying TX, I just have to familiarize myself w/ aligning the radio and program's orientation (sidebands, mark/space conventions, etc).
« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 11:52:08 AM by rookieRV »

rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #91 on: April 05, 2018, 03:48:48 PM »
Update... yesterday the Wizard on the PD has gone from slow blink “storage” mode to a faster blink “normal” mode, after the AC shore power went off (half-hour or so) :o. I noticed the faster blinks after the AC restored, and at first I thought that it may have been that routine 15-20 minute ‘top-off’ charge that the PD performs every 23 hours, but the faster blink has now obviously lasted too long for that to be the case (continuously for over a day now) ???

The PDs fan also seems taxed quite a bit more often than before the power went out briefly... running in ‘high mode’ more frequently. :( This, while we still use a AC LED light for the bulk of our night sight needs. Wife recently felt need to relevel hydraulic jacks, that was last weekend/5 days ago (did nothing unusual to Wizard indicator back then, it remained in storage mode)  :-\

$400ea. batteries would have prevented any of this?  ::) I dunno  >:(
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 04:33:48 AM by rookieRV »

John Canfield

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #92 on: April 06, 2018, 07:31:31 AM »
How old are your batteries?
--John
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rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #93 on: April 06, 2018, 08:09:08 AM »
Brand-new  Duracell SL124MDC (qty 2)... installed a new batt pair @ the same time as receiving the brand-new PD charger/converter,  abt. 1-2 months ago.

From a previous message of mine: 

"... the original Interstate batteries running with the Parallax 45 amp, 2 stage charger/converter for the last five years were SRM-24s, 550 CCAs ea., 690 MCAs ea., marine deep cycle group 24s.

New batteries are (were?) Duracell SL124MDC (group 24s), 500 CCAs ea., 615 MCAs ea., 150 minutes @ 23 amps ea., marine deep cycle group 24s (so, yes, they do sound like comparable battery types?)...

As maintenence-free as the other battery types seem, we live here, full-time, on the ‘cheap’. No dry camping/boondocking ever, only my wife that nags me to check the batt water levels every month! But, hey, the old Interstate pair lasted FIVE YEARS!"
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 10:49:00 AM by rookieRV »

rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #94 on: April 07, 2018, 06:07:25 AM »
Whew!  8) (I think ;D)
  Two days after the short, 20 minute short AC shore power outage, and the Wizard has gone back to slow-blink ‘storage’ mode (so things are appearently still working as they should be  :) ). Just seems strange that it would feel the need for a seemingly extended charge associated with a seemingly brief power demand (the fridge flicking from electric to propane during that brief interim of time was the only possible batt. demand). ???

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #95 on: April 07, 2018, 06:39:04 AM »
Quote
(the fridge flicking from electric to propane during that brief interim of time was the only possible batt. demand).

Perhaps that was the only additional 12v load, but all the normal, ongoing 12v consumption continues but now draws from the battery rather than the converter.   Once the battery voltage drops even a tiny bit, the charger is going to kick out of storage mode and begin normal charging for awhile.
Gary
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rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #96 on: April 07, 2018, 07:07:02 AM »
That I would expect, sure... but the charger seemingly treating the batts like something completely drained down to baseline zero and in need of a full charge, for twenty minutes of demand, that I don’t expect.

When my cell phone, electric razor, etc. requires a partial charge, that’s exactly what would be given to them, at a portion of the time, as required. I gotta response from a tech guy at PD, things seem fairly normal to him. After looking at the response from PD, a 2-day +/- charge is generally normal (in ‘normal’ mode, no pun intended), but when? Every time that the power flickers?

If the outdoor storage compartment nearby the stairs wouldn’t require too long a length of 00 ga wire to integrate, then maybe I need to consider A) 2-4 more parallel batts, (buy one a month or so :o) or,  B) start all over w/ six volt golf cart batts :o!?!?

« Last Edit: April 07, 2018, 07:41:40 AM by rookieRV »

John Canfield

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #97 on: April 07, 2018, 07:37:03 AM »
Your batteries should be float charged at around 13.2 or 13.3V, like Gary mentioned if you are drawing current from lights, etc the charger should increase current supplied.
--John
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rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #98 on: April 07, 2018, 08:18:18 AM »
Perhaps so, but since the install +2 day very first charge, the Wizard has never shown anything below (above? Never demanded more than)  ‘storage’ mode... until the power incident a couple days ago.

Perhaps these are typically discrete functions that all power charger/converters employ (even the old Parallax 2 stage did as well, w/o any indication), but now I have a wizard displaying to me every time that such occurrences/stages/changes take place, easily making OCDs like myself worry ;D Now I only need to know when to really worry  ::)
« Last Edit: April 07, 2018, 12:56:05 PM by rookieRV »

John Hilley

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #99 on: April 09, 2018, 12:16:36 PM »
You can't tell for sure what is going on without voltage readings.
2003 Winnebago Adventurer 38G
1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport
1999 Winnebago Brave 35C
  Handicap Lift & Hospital Bed

rookieRV

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Re: 2005 Itasca Sunnova Parallax Charger... Failure?
« Reply #100 on: April 10, 2018, 04:43:00 AM »
Right, and I assume that a differing blink rate from the wizard... indicating charge mode (float, normal, storage) is giving me a relative idea :)
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 04:44:38 AM by rookieRV »

 

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