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Old 05-06-2012, 12:44 AM   #1
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Modified SQ wave vs Full Sign wave.

Am in the process of changing out the exantrex MSW and installing Magnum Full Sq wave inverter/convertor in pre vansco 2003 Alpine. Has any one done this and were there any problems? Would appreciate any experience others have had, thanks. Iron Mike.
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Old 05-06-2012, 01:15 AM   #2
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IM - Several folks have switched out their Xantrex units for FSW 3000W units, nothing should change except, the microwave, and any other device which is mostly electronic will work better, since a FSW unit provides the closest 120V AC current wave possible short of shore power. Make sure you tighten down the connections good, and take your time making the switch. I would not personally change any of the devices now on the inverter or add additional ones, unless you have a residential fridge, that should go on the inverter if it was not on it before. I don't know as I would wire in the 120VAC element in an RV fridge to the inverter, it would use up your batteries quick is my thinking. That is why AC/Heat Pumps are not on the inverter, it cannot provide starting current, nor would the batteries last more than about 30 minutes is my guess. You might now want to add additional batteries to your coach. My suggestion would be brand new AGM's from Lifeline units.

Let us know how the switch goes.
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Old 05-06-2012, 02:21 PM   #3
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Mike- IIWMI'd add a shutoff switch inline on the hot leg to the inverter while the opportunity presents itself. A Perko type, 300A rated or so. Otherwise you have to take the negative cable(s) off the batteries to fully shut down the inverter.
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:11 PM   #4
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EM has a good point with adding the switch--otherwise the inverter is hot to the bats all the time [unless you disconnect a bat cable]. Its probably not absolutely necessary but believe the 03s [mine did] came with 2/0 cable between the inverter and the bats. According to the Xantrex spec sheet, the preferred/recommended cable for the RS3000 is 4/0. Not sure how much wattage you could expect to pull with yr new 3000 wat inverter but you could pull more that 2000 watts for a short time and that might heat up your 2/0 cables a bit.....Yup---4/0 is pretty big stuff and expensive too.....Assume the 300 amp fuse is still good though--these watts vs amps makes my head hurt sometimes....
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:58 AM   #5
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I installed the Magnum Energy ME 3112 on my Apex. It has 8 house batteries and has electric on everything. I can't see where it would make any difference on pre Vansco,you just aren't running as much. It was easy to install and works great. I had 4/0 wires to my inverter already. My inverter was located on a bracket on the frame. I was able to take the Xantrex out and the Magnum energy fit in the same bracket, just had to drill new mounting holes in bracket. I used the single knob remote ME-RC-50 and mounted it in bath vanity. It has the LCD screen,inverter on off button, charger on off button, Adjust knob to whatever shore power is and push the button. Also has set up and tech menu. I also installed the system battery monitor ME-BMK, which is similar to a fuel gauge on your batteries to monitor the charge on the batteries. It was supposed to to mounted on the batteries. I ended up mounting to the battery cable on the inverter. Can't remember what the problem was not being able to mount on batteries, data cable not long enough or too much stuff in the way on a Apex to get from one side to the other. Anyway, the way I did it works ok. I did put in a bigger fuse but I can't remember what size, I will have to check. Magnum energy has great tech support. I installed the whole thing and called them with programming questions. If you ever have a problem, they will overnite the parts to you. I do have pictures, I will have find and post later.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:33 PM   #6
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Thanks all for each comment. With the upgraded Magnum inv/charger at 2800 watts I think the following would need upgraded also: Alternator to 200 amps: Battery isolator upgraded: Add two extra deep cycle batts for total of eight: Add the cut off switch: Change the wiring to 4-0: and anything else? I would have the magnum controller and current monitor also. I do have the Amana refer which started me in this direction originally. Any more comments would be appreciated. Mike.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:38 PM   #7
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I should probably do a change out. We have a Freedom 458 MSW unit. Our Advantium micro/conmvection doesn't like the inverter power. One of these days it's going to burn out. I try to tell my wife shore power or gen only but ...........
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:12 AM   #8
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MR D & IM, Yes on “shore power or Genset” for the Microwave for its survival, electronics don’t like not having the correct power to run. FWIW – Lots of the electronic devices we use, have transformers which convert the 120VAC down to 12 or 24VDC and they work off that power/voltage. The exception is the microwave; it needs and wants 120VAC and plenty of watts to work correctly. Although the inverter will run it, it won’t provide the correct starting current immediately, like shore power/genset can do. Additionally for the hydraulic system too, as the HWH (if equipped) pump system draws over 100A for about 1/2 second or so, before the system can get up to speed and supply the starting current necessary for it to work properly. This can cause the Motherboard in the HWH system to burn out a diode which has been referenced herein in this alpine forum.

IM - The extra two batteries would be nice, not necessarily now if money is tight, the battery post wiring to 4-0 yes, the isolator switch yes. Upgrading the transfer switch also might be a good idea, and Surge guard has a new model out with indicator lights, and some other nice features, if yours is so equipped now. You can check out my post on Delco Remy Alternator Change out posting, which has a real good description, and pictures if I do say so myself. Questions on the alternator, send me a PM with your e-mail, we can communicate that way instead of clogging up this forum. The alternator sounds like a big job, if you have a friend, it's not bad, guess it took couple of hours or so to do it. I would use the same brand we used, and it should costs around 330.00 or so. If you are mechanically and electrically knowledgably talented the Inverter/Charger/alternator, etc., is something you can handle, if not comfortable, I would suggest not making this your first foray into the world of fixing electrical things.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:24 AM   #9
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Pictures for remote and install of ME 3112.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Rv'er View Post
MR D & IM, Yes on “shore power or Genset” for the Microwave for its survival, electronics don’t like not having the correct power to run. FWIW – Lots of the electronic devices we use, have transformers which convert the 120VAC down to 12 or 24VDC and they work off that power/voltage. The exception is the microwave; it needs and wants 120VAC and plenty of watts to work correctly. Although the inverter will run it, it won’t provide the correct starting current immediately, like shore power/genset can do. Additionally for the hydraulic system too, as the HWH (if equipped) pump system draws over 100A for about 1/2 second or so, before the system can get up to speed and supply the starting current necessary for it to work properly. This can cause the Motherboard in the HWH system to burn out a diode which has been referenced herein in this alpine forum.

IM - The extra two batteries would be nice, not necessarily now if money is tight, the battery post wiring to 4-0 yes, the isolator switch yes. Upgrading the transfer switch also might be a good idea, and Surge guard has a new model out with indicator lights, and some other nice features, if yours is so equipped now. You can check out my post on Delco Remy Alternator Change out posting, which has a real good description, and pictures if I do say so myself. Questions on the alternator, send me a PM with your e-mail, we can communicate that way instead of clogging up this forum. The alternator sounds like a big job, if you have a friend, it's not bad, guess it took couple of hours or so to do it. I would use the same brand we used, and it should costs around 330.00 or so. If you are mechanically and electrically knowledgably talented the Inverter/Charger/alternator, etc., is something you can handle, if not comfortable, I would suggest not making this your first foray into the world of fixing electrical things.
Might be able to find a reman alternator at a truck shop, found dozens at a local major shop, less than $200 for a 160. I didn't look at the bigger ones as I didn't need one.
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:09 AM   #11
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If you do a search on alternator problems, one owner found a shop in CA (I think) which did reman his 160 to a 200. I cannot remember the price. However, if you look at the Delco unit, and the OEM alternator, you will see one big difference, the amount of cooling openings on the Delco one, remember HEAT is the death of alternators, if it's cool, it will last a long time. The Delco one stays cooler then the OEM one western used on these coaches. Go with a new Delco unit, you won't be sorry.

FWIW - Once I changed mine, the coach started to just run better, and I'm sure it was the extra 25 amps of output, don't ask me why, spurious electrical gremlins, just disappeared once the new alternator was installed. Now an APEX needs a lot of juice because of the many electrical devices running when the coach is going down the road, that extra amount just made everything work better.

And when we upgraded the 8 house batteries to AGM Lifelines, again, I noticed another improvement on how the coach works, it feels like when I need something to work, it just did without a qualm. I know feelings don't carry much weight, but it just works better now, well it did till it got hit.
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:48 AM   #12
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Did the same thing.. When the old Dimensions came out I rewired everything with 4/0, cleaned up the mess on the batteries, and located the BMK, fuse and terminal studs under the bed were all the breaker wiring is.

On top of the microwave hating the MSW, I also smoked an electric blanket (It was old and I was expecting it to go), and my favorite back massager. With the BMK I have a way better feel for where the batteries are really at.








Also bought a 12Ton crimper


Looks pretty nice eh?
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:48 PM   #13
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Thanks to everyone that sent pictures and comments. At this time after sitting in the Alaskan winter we are just trying to get ready for a camp out this weekend. I had the starter batts load tested and they are ok. I'll have to go with the original 160 alternator and 6 year deep cycles but will install cutoff switch now. A local gen shop can upgrade to 200 amps. (will query him on heat as suggested) Have been conditioning the deep cycles in the garage with the Magnum 2000 watt fsw inverter/charger.Don't now why I didn't get the 2800 but will when replacing the deep cycles later this summer

My background is USAF Digital and analog Tech, Ham radio, A&P Mechanic, and can't think of any other qualifications. But the specifics of this upgrade scared me. Being past 72 yrs am not so ready to jump in and experiment with this 2003 Alpine. After military 20 yr service I worked in fields far removed from electronics. Battery technology was not my best suite. After going through several starters most of you can figure out why. AGMs are too expensive at this time. Thanks for the offer of private communications.

My BH and I are are involved in Senior activities but not anyone that is familiar with batteries. Have had the chance to fix an RV ground here and there. They all think I now more than I do. Such is life. Thanks again.


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Old 05-08-2012, 03:16 PM   #14
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You need to get somplace warm, and then the brain cells will thaw out and the job won't look so large. Good Luck with it.
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