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Author Topic: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?  (Read 418 times)

Bill N

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Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« on: July 12, 2018, 08:55:36 AM »
I put this in Winnie Specific issues because while it is a A&E  One Step awning, it is wired to a 15 pin connector that is how Winnie elected to  wire it in (good idea by the way).  My control box is suspected to be bad and I have bought a new one on ebay but it will be coming with loose wires and not in a 15 pin connector. 

My question is this:  If I remove my control box before I receive the new one  (only 4 screws and unplug the connector) will my awning remain closed or does it need power to keep the brake energized?  I suspect it will stay closed but would like some confirmation on that.  Because if it does open I would have to reinstall the connector and hope it would close which has been it's major problem to this point.  I would like to get a look at the wiring on the old box before the new one arrives is the reason I am asking.  Thanks

I know - silly question - but I have heard that silly questions are the ones that are unasked.

Bill
« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 02:27:06 PM by Bill N »
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

emiddleb

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2018, 01:52:08 PM »
I don't know for sure, but I suspect it will remain closed.  Most A&E awnings come with a crank for manual open/close during power issues so would seem it wouldn't move.

If you are concerned about it opening, how about just doing a quick zip-tie wrap around the upper arms and/or the roller itself?
Ed and Joie
2004 Vectra 40KD
Freightliner Chassis and Cummins ISC

Paul 1950

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2018, 02:14:52 PM »
I had my awning out when I changed the controller. It didnt move.
Paul S   Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J

Bill N

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2018, 02:25:05 PM »
Thanks folks.  I got in a hurry and went ahead and unhooked it in a safe place.  No problem at all.  So I guess it  takes power to release the brake.  Then I started looking around for another 15 pin connector as Winnebago uses that system to wire in to the awning but I have not found a duplicate yet that is affordable unless I want to buy a 1000 from Germany....lol   BUT I think I have figured out that I don't need a new connector.  I opened the old box and notice that all of the wires go to slip on connections so I should be able to just transfer them to the new box unless it is grossly different inside.  Good thing I have the paperwork for the awning as it shows the Winnebago wiring diagram for the connector and while the box is designed for two different awnings Winnie only wired it for the one they used (the One Step) so they did not put in connecting pins for all wires coming out of the box.

Funny thing Paul is that I found another bunch of control boxes on ebay including some from Colaw Salvage who told me they had none but all of them were used (some looked very much abused) and none were the same part number of the new one I bought.  A couple of the used ones were pretty steeply priced.  I am happy with what I am getting.

Paul, would you mind telling me what were your problems that led you to change out the box?  Mine were just intermittent operation mostly when retracting (hours waiting before it would finish retracting) but all of the problems happened when we just had to be out of the campground or pay for another day.....lol  I am really hoping this fixes the problem as it is beginning to get stressful and hoping I did not waste a pile of cash.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Paul 1950

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2018, 04:07:55 PM »
My problem was that at time the awning would stop going out, and I would have to wait a couple of minutes and try again.  Sometimes it would take two or three times to get the awning to go out.  Bringing it is was the same problem, however, it usually took one or two times of waiting a couple of minutes to bring it in.

However, lately, it has been going out just fine, but it usually takes three attempts to get it all the way in.
Paul S   Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J

emiddleb

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2018, 04:46:16 PM »
Most of the A&E/Dometic awnings suffer from two design issues... low-torque motors and thermal cutoff protection.  Anything that puts a bit of strain on the motors (winds, water pooled on the awning, dirty joints etc) causes the motors to work hard and then overheat.  Then you have to wait for the motor to cool down before it will operate again.

In my case, one of my awnings started having the stop/start issue.  I took a can of silicon spray and flushed out years of campground dust from all the joints and the ends of the rollers, and the awning started working properly again.  Now it is part of my semi-annual maintenance.
Ed and Joie
2004 Vectra 40KD
Freightliner Chassis and Cummins ISC

Bill N

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2018, 04:46:32 PM »
My problem was that at time the awning would stop going out, and I would have to wait a couple of minutes and try again.  Sometimes it would take two or three times to get the awning to go out.  Bringing it is was the same problem, however, it usually took one or two times of waiting a couple of minutes to bring it in.

However, lately, it has been going out just fine, but it usually takes three attempts to get it all the way in.

Well working on the theory that going out is a lot easier on the workings than retracting I am beginning to wonder if some sort of thermal resistor in the box (was it you that mentioned that first?)might be part of the problem.  Looking inside my box I don't see anything that would resemble that but electronics stuff doesn't always looks like you think it should.  Anyway, I hope when you say it takes multiple attempts to get it in you are not having to wait hours between attempts.  Originally when the problem started it was that if for any reason I stopped while putting it out I had to wait at least 15 minutes before it would move again in any direction.  I have had so many variations of the problems that I am confused even trying to remember exactly all the problems.  However, the latest was this:  The awning would go fully out without stopping on it's own.  I never stop it midway anymore because of previous problems.  However, when attempting retract it usually will not even try to move unless I start the engine.  Then it may retract about half way and stop.  This is the point when it takes many hours before it will operate again and complete the retract.  I always start the engine to do this but I am not positive that is required.  Afterall, my power levels are at 13.5 on both house and chassis batteries (shore power).  So I am crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.  I am not even sure which set of batteries operates the awning.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Bill N

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2018, 04:48:13 PM »
Most of the A&E/Dometic awnings suffer from two design issues... low-torque motors and thermal cutoff protection.  Anything that puts a bit of strain on the motors (winds, water pooled on the awning, dirty joints etc) causes the motors to work hard and then overheat.  Then you have to wait for the motor to cool down before it will operate again.

In my case, one of my awnings started having the stop/start issue.  I took a can of silicon spray and flushed out years of campground dust from all the joints and the ends of the rollers, and the awning started working properly again.  Now it is part of my semi-annual maintenance.
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Bill N

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2018, 04:51:56 PM »
Most of the A&E/Dometic awnings suffer from two design issues... low-torque motors and thermal cutoff protection.  Anything that puts a bit of strain on the motors (winds, water pooled on the awning, dirty joints etc) causes the motors to work hard and then overheat.  Then you have to wait for the motor to cool down before it will operate again.

In my case, one of my awnings started having the stop/start issue.  I took a can of silicon spray and flushed out years of campground dust from all the joints and the ends of the rollers, and the awning started working properly again.  Now it is part of my semi-annual maintenance.

Thanks for that post Ed.  I have always had doubts that the control box is the problem but I have just invested a pile of money to replace it.  Now I am going to go through the procedure you described and try lubricating all the joints and reduce the drag on the motor.  This is a 16 year old coach and while it has been stored in covered storage the original owner took it to South Texas for its first 12 years and spent 3 months each winter with the awning out.  I just replaced the fabric last summer.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

John Canfield

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2018, 07:26:31 AM »
Long on my to-do list is to pull the control box and attempt to reverse-engineer the circuitry. I suspect the motor current is monitored and when it reaches a set threshold, a timer starts which locks out voltage to the motor for a period of time. A low tech control would be thermal detection in the motor itself but when I connect 12V directly to the motor, it always runs quite well.

I totally agree with Ed, it's really a pathetic design and poorly engineered. Dometic probably used a contractor to design the control box, must have been the low bidder.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
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Bill N

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2018, 08:34:28 AM »
Long on my to-do list is to pull the control box and attempt to reverse-engineer the circuitry. I suspect the motor current is monitored and when it reaches a set threshold, a timer starts which locks out voltage to the motor for a period of time. A low tech control would be thermal detection in the motor itself but when I connect 12V directly to the motor, it always runs quite well.

I totally agree with Ed, it's really a pathetic design and poorly engineered. Dometic probably used a contractor to design the control box, must have been the low bidder.
I agree John.  A&E does have an emergency procedure and even provides a two wire plug which goes right from the battery connections (that you make with the jumper plugged into the provided two wire plug from the battery) to the extend/retract switch.  Initially when the problem began that always worked but no longer.  I think when the RV tech told me it was the logic board he was right but specifically it must be some sort of thermal sensor that is shutting it down halfway during the retract and then resulting in a long wait to continue the retraction.  I am going to try to reduce any drag by lubricating any moving parts that I can access.  When the new box arrives I may be able to do some experimenting but if the darn thing works good I may just wipe the sweat off my brow and say PTL.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

John Canfield

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2018, 08:51:18 AM »
...A&E does have an emergency procedure and even provides a two wire plug which goes right from the battery connections (that you make with the jumper plugged into the provided two wire plug from the battery) to the extend/retract switch. Initially when the problem began that always worked but no longer....
Ah, then the motor does have a thermal shutdown.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

Bill N

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2018, 11:11:47 AM »
Ah, then the motor does have a thermal shutdown.

In your opinion could this be a problem on the logic board or inside the motor itself?

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

John Canfield

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2018, 07:10:10 AM »
Could be a combination of both. I think the mechanical design of the awning as a whole is very lame and the motor might be undersized and have internal thermal protection. The control board is most likely monitoring motor current. I'm getting anxious again to tear into the control board but I have way too many irons in the fire to start another project at the moment.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

Bill N

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2018, 07:34:23 AM »
Could be a combination of both. I think the mechanical design of the awning as a whole is very lame and the motor might be undersized and have internal thermal protection. The control board is most likely monitoring motor current. I'm getting anxious again to tear into the control board but I have way too many irons in the fire to start another project at the moment.
Thanks so much John.  I developed a pair of very wet feet after I received this brand new control box kit yesterday.  It contains in addition to the control box a wind sensor and enough telephone wire to run it up to the roof, a remote button activator, and a new additional extend/retract button like the one Winnie has in the motorhome.  I opened the box up and took a look and it is totally different stuff but Dometic says it should work if I figure out the wiring which I think I can do.  Anyway, after looking over the part numbers and other stuff I find a used unit at Colaw Salvage just 50 miles from me and they will guarantee it to be working.  The difference:  $358 for the new unit and $125 for the used one.  I am returning the new one today - just not worth the risk of that much money to not have it work.  I can drive to Colaw and pick up the used unit and let it be the test dummy.....lol.  Thanks again for being there John.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

SargeW

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2018, 10:53:51 AM »
My suspicion was that the wiring that runs to the motor was not heavy enough. I had tons of trouble with the patio awnings on various coaches. But running a long jumper from the battery bank almost always made it work. Then the motors themselves would get weak and not be able to pull the awning back in. I have replaced an awning motor on my last coach. The hardest part was paying for it. 

My current coach has a 110 volt motor, and it has worked perfectly. I had changed out the control boxes on a few of the awnings I was having problems with and it never made much of a difference. It always linked back to a weak motor and voltage. 
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
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Bill N

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2018, 07:44:38 PM »
Just one note Marty.  I notice on both of the control boxes that I have bought to use on my coach that the wiring coming out of the box to the connectors is heavier than it was on the original box so maybe they got smart later.  What was fomerly #14 and #16 is now #12 and #14.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

SargeW

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2018, 10:40:26 PM »
That should be a definite benefit Bill. Maybe they are paying attention!
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
2018 JLU Jeep Sahara
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchick2018
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

John Canfield

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2018, 07:57:37 AM »
Good thinking - voltage drop. That's something else to monitor - I can use the 'emergency' 12V cable and measure voltage/current with the awning in operation.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

Bill N

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2018, 08:26:24 AM »
Winnebago used a 15 pin MATE-N-LOK connector to connect the A&E control box to the coach wiring bundle.  My used replacement box does not have the 15 pin connector but rather several two and three pin connectors. I would like to get a new 15 pin to put on the new box so that if it doesn't work I can put the old box back in easily.  BUT I am having great troubles finding that 15 pin connector.  Googled it and it seems I have to buy either 40 of them or 1000 of them  or I can get one for $5.13 and $45.00 shipping from Germany.  I don't see anything like that in the Winnebago Parts catalog.  Anybody have a possible source for an AMP MATE-N-LOK 15 pin connector.  I am specific because half of the connector is still on the coach wiring and mating would be much easier if I didn't have to take that off.  Also a pin extraction tool would be possibly handy in a pinch.


Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

cbeierl

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2018, 12:02:50 PM »
Check out www.digikey.com.  There's a good chance they'll have what you need.
Chris Beierl
2005 Winnebago Vectra 36RD

steve-n-sueC

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2018, 12:04:09 PM »
The best source I have found for Winnie parts is Lichtsinn Motors.  If your awning has auto out and in, versus having to hold the button down, I believe the control box monitors the amperage draw of the motor, and shuts off at a predetermined amperage, thus not having to hold the button. I don't have any source to point to, other than trial and error on my awning.
Steve-n-Sue
08 Adventurer 38j
13 GMC Terrain

Bill N

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2018, 12:07:12 PM »
The best source I have found for Winnie parts is Lichtsinn Motors.  If your awning has auto out and in, versus having to hold the button down, I believe the control box monitors the amperage draw of the motor, and shuts off at a predetermined amperage, thus not having to hold the button. I don't have any source to point to, other than trial and error on my awning.

Thanks Steve-n-Sue.  Mine is a hold it down type.  I will be checking Lichtsinn for the 15 pin connector I need.
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos

Paul 1950

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2018, 12:23:10 PM »
I just got my awning to come in in one shot.  I lubricated every pivot point on the arms, and I realigned the awning fabric.  Not sure which one helped the most, or if either helped at all.  I am just glad it works, whatever the reason.
Paul S   Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J

John Canfield

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2018, 12:34:40 PM »
I just got my awning to come in in one shot.  I lubricated every pivot point on the arms, and I realigned the awning fabric.  Not sure which one helped the most, or if either helped at all.  I am just glad it works, whatever the reason.
Realigning the awning fabric is one of the recommendations from A&E when you are having problems extending/retracting. I checked mine some time ago and it seemed fine. I think I lubed the moving parts as well and that helped some.

Bill: DigiKey is a good source for electronic parts and also check out fleaBay.
--John
2005 Horizon 40AD, 2006 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
Our Horizon projects
Our weather

Bill N

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Re: Removal of Awning Control Box - Will Awning Open?
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2018, 12:47:20 PM »
Realigning the awning fabric is one of the recommendations from A&E when you are having problems extending/retracting. I checked mine some time ago and it seemed fine. I think I lubed the moving parts as well and that helped some.

Bill: DigiKey is a good source for electronic parts and also check out fleaBay.
I am checking digikey right now and will check fleaBay.  Also dropped a note to Lichtsinn but don't expect much joy there unless Winnie is still using those connectors for awnings.  It may be possible since it is something that they seem to have been the first to use.  I even saw a used control box that has the Winnie 15 pin plug on it and it was at Colaw but it is the exact same box I bought for $125 and they want $285 for the one with the Winnie connector.  They had no clue that is what it was but also had no clue as to why the prices were so radically different.

I am positive that had I just gone to Colaw and shopped the store and some of their junk piles in the store I could have got the one I found in there much much cheaper.  A lot of the junk stuff is not priced and they set it at the register.  I got a bunch of simulator nut caps for .10 each at the register a couple of years ago.  But the funny part is when I got home from buying the control box for $125 I had an email from Colaw telling me  that I would have to go through eBay to buy it.  Had I not been in such a darn hurry I may have got this thing a lot cheaper.  And if it does not work it is going to be very cheap - returned for refund.....lol.

Bill

PS:  Paul - congrats on that full retract - it makes one feel like winning the lottery.  I definitely am doing some cleaning and lubricating all moving parts.  The awning fabric was replace last summer and seems to roll up perfectly.
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret - 1961-1981)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Cats: Grace-11 & Squeak-6, Winnie the ShihTzu - 16 mos