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Old 09-02-2011, 08:17 PM   #1
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Question 05 Dolphin AC problems

Folks,


This all started several weeks ago. After coming home from a weekend away, the 05 Dolphin 5342 was without any power – AC or DC. I have the MH connected 50Amp shore power and the first thing I did was to check the two 120V circuits that make up the shore power and they were fine. I checked the batteries and all 3 were less than 8v (starting 12v, and two 12v batteries in parallel). I charged them and things started working again (I didn’t check everything – I was concentration on the basement AC and it was working). I keep the AC at 88F so that the interior doesn’t bake in the Georgia summer (even with the MH in the shade). I thought the problem was that I had left the inverter on and it had drained the batteries). All seemed OK.


After two weeks I noticed that the MH was again stone dead. I checked the batteries, and again they were low so I checked for dead cells in the batteries and they were all OK. I set about recharging them.


I used a digital multi-meter and could find no power coming from the Xanrtrex Freedom 485 inverter/charger when in the charging mode (I/C off at the panel and shore power on) . After a few conversations with Xantrex support, I replaced the slo-blo fuse inside the inverter/charger – after which I did get the expected voltage reading from the charger side and the inverter seems to be working.


I asked for help from the forum to determining the 120v wiring because several large appliances (Microwave & two TVs) didn’t have any power. Ramblin Jim and Fred came through with the diagram so today I headed out to the MH with multi-meter and diagrams in hand.


The MH is on 50amp shore power so I opened the AC panel and found that all the circuit breakers were OK. I have a circuit test plug (with 3 LEDs) and used it to check the circuits. I found something curios and something wrong.


What was curious was that the circuit used by the video distribution center, the front TV and the rear TV, as well as the AC outlet in the front by the riders chair only works if the I/C is on.


What is still a problem is that the microwave ( GE Spacemaker microwave/convection oven) and the two TVs will not power up. The microwave is on a circuit breaker and does have 120v at the plug. I used
an extension cord from anopther circuit just to be sure and the microwave didn’t light up.


I now suspect that there was a lighting related event when I was away (blown fuse inside the I/C) and that I may have similar fuse problems with the microwave & TVs.


I am open to any suggestions, comments and ideas the members of this forum may have.

Thanks – JJ
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:16 PM   #2
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Hi JJ,

If I read your post correctly sounds like you have several problems. The Xantrex has a pass 120 volt AC pass though that may not be working. I am not sure if it is using a relay or SCR's for switching. I would think they are relays but not sure. Anyway, when using the inverter for AC power it transfers correctly, when shore power is connected the Xantrex fails to transfer to shore power. AC must be getting to the inverter/charger as you now have the charger circuit working.

As far as the microwave goes if you have power at the outlet and it does not power up it may be a small inline fuse inside the microwave. When I got my 5342 the microwave did not work. I removed the microwave so I could get to things. If memory serves me correctly you can remove the front panel without having to remove the whole unit. In my case I did not discover this until I had it on the floor. I think I also remember the fuse is in the top of the unit and not accessible through the panel but not sure. I suggest removing the panel and looking hard to see if you can locate the fuse. In my case the fuse was good and the power transformer had a open primary. The transformer has 3 secondary windings and I could not find a replacement so I replaced the entire control board. It cost me $100.00 but it fixed the problem.

I believe both TV's are connect through the Xantrex so it makes sense they are not working because of the pass through circuit may not be working. Try taking the extension cord from a hot outlet and se if they will power up.

Good luck,
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:36 PM   #3
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This is a bit outside of my comfort zone, but I'll take a stab at it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJH3rd View Post
What was curious was that the circuit used by the video distribution center, the front TV and the rear TV, as well as the AC outlet in the front by the riders chair only works if the I/C is on.
Is this a new thing, or has it always been this way? Could be that it is designed this way so that you can run those appliances, and have a 120V outlet when no other AC power is available (shore or genny).

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJH3rd View Post
What is still a problem is that the microwave ( GE Spacemaker microwave/convection oven) and the two TVs will not power up. The microwave is on a circuit breaker and does have 120v at the plug. I used
an extension cord from anopther circuit just to be sure and the microwave didn’t light up.
Only thing I can say here is, if you have power at the outlets they plug into, you have dead appliances. Generally, TVs and microwaves aren't internally fused in any user-servicable way. This would make sense if you had a surge due to lightning, as you suspect. Might be time to upgrade those TVs to LED flat panels, and get a fancy new microwave.

Jim
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Old 09-02-2011, 09:43 PM   #4
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Heh, Bill beat me to it, and knows way more than I do about it.

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Old 09-03-2011, 08:22 AM   #5
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It's a good thing we were not going somewhere in the MH this long weekend (Labor Day).

I think that the "coach" circuit: TVs & front AC outlet, are wired through the inverter/charger so that they could be used when the MH is not on shore power - while in motion for example. This circuit has no protection other than the I/C as far asa I can determine.

I'll be working on the microwave this weekend and I will take out the rear TV, the smaller one, to see if if happens to have a reset breaker.

I wouldn't mind putting in MUCH lighter flat panel TVs but I'd like to get a little more life from the microwave.

Thanks for the help guys
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:31 PM   #6
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The end of this chapter

Well, I've finally gotten everything working as it did before the electrical event.

Here's all I had to do:

  • Extracted and replaced the circuit/control board in the microwave
  • Extracted and replaced the front (Umgph) and rear CRT TVs with flat panel TVs (& removed more than 150lbs & increased the maximum carrying capacity in the process)
  • Extracted, sent off to have repaired and reinstalled the Xantrex inverter/charger.
There was one other injury in the electrical event - I found that the battery in my 2000 Mazda pickup, which is parked adjacent to the MH was almost completely discharged at the same time I discovered the problems in the MH. I had to charge it over night before I could get it to power the starter.

I now have a surge suppressor in line between the shore power and the MH. I hope it is the sacrificial electrical component the next time I have lightening dancing around the back yard.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:37 PM   #7
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Mystery of the power to the video distribution unit

It turns out that a 12v line runs directly from the house batteries to the video distribution switch panel - not 120v as I had thought. A digital multimeter is a wonderful thing.
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:13 AM   #8
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Since my 27" RCA TV and DVD players run off of 120VAC, I was surprised to see that my video distribution device ran off of 12VDC.



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Old 11-12-2011, 12:17 PM   #9
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I find it interesting that power surges on Dolphins seem to take out the same leg for most of us. Last year we experienced a surge, even though we use a surge protector, losing the micro, select comfort bed pump and a small transformer for a remote thermometer. I was thankful the TV's survived. BTW, I have changed to Progressive Industries protection, thinking we experienced an open nuteral.
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