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Old 09-30-2013, 10:39 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by mel stuplich View Post
Libero
You MAY be correct that all "modern RV" converters are also battery chargers, but the fact remains that all NOT ALL RV CONVERTERS are also BATTERY CHARGERS.
I have a 1975 MH, which, (as built by Winnebago), has both a converter without battery charging capability, AND a separate battery charger).

The terms "converter" and "battery charger" are not interchangeable and to continue to insist that they are is a disservice, confusing and certainly not helpful...(confusing information is worst than no information at all).

BTW, IMO most of the information you post is "spot on", (and I agree with most of your opinions).

Mel
'96 Safari
Are you saying that a 12vdc output with a voltage higher than the battery itself, won't charge it? That's odd, cuz most of my chargers are homemade and only consist of a stepdown transformer and a full wave diode bank. Not even a capacitor installed and they work well. Wouldn't want to run much of anything directly off of it that doesn't like noise, but for battery charging only, they do just fine.
Maybe if you'd be more specific and tell us what the circuit differences are between a 120vac/12vdc converter and a 120vac/12vdc battery charger are?
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:32 AM   #44
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Are you saying that a 12vdc output with a voltage higher than the battery itself, won't charge it? That's odd, cuz most of my chargers are homemade and only consist of a stepdown transformer and a full wave diode bank. Not even a capacitor installed and they work well. Wouldn't want to run much of anything directly off of it that doesn't like noise, but for battery charging only, they do just fine.
Maybe if you'd be more specific and tell us what the circuit differences are between a 120vac/12vdc converter and a 120vac/12vdc battery charger are?
tropical36
I am NOT saying that a converter with DC output voltage higher than the battery itself, won't eventually charge a battery.

What I am saying is: IMO a "converter" is NOT a battery charger... and an "inverter/converter" is NOT designed to charge batteries... but an "inverter/converter/charger" IS.

BTW, I know nothing about battery charger circuitry..... (other than the fact that a battery chargers HAVE the circuitry to effectively, and often automatically, charge batteries, whereas converters do NOT).

Mel
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:39 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by mel stuplich View Post

Libero
You MAY be correct that all "modern RV" converters are also battery chargers, but the fact remains that all NOT ALL RV CONVERTERS are also BATTERY CHARGERS.
I have a 1975 MH, which, (as built by Winnebago), has both a converter without battery charging capability, AND a separate battery charger).

The terms "converter" and "battery charger" are not interchangeable and to continue to insist that they are is a disservice, confusing and certainly not helpful...(confusing information is worst than no information at all).

BTW, IMO most of the information you post is "spot on", (and I agree with most of your opinions).

Mel
'96 Safari
Hmmmm well what can I say - any voltage source higher than that supplied by the battery will put some "charge" into a battery if connected to it. Give it whatever name you chose. Actually the term "Converter" has such a broad meaning it could be appied to many things so it is a generic term. (something that "converts" but in RV parlance we all know it refers to AC/DC conversion). Heck I even have an app on my phone called a converter. It does unit conversion.

For example: Progressive Industries refer to its RV systems as "Power Converters" - but then again, what do they know, so I fully understand what an RV person is referring to when calling his DC power source that is connected to a battery a "Converter" so I would not admonish anyone for doing so, but that is just me. Others might take issues with it. Whatever suits you Mel. I would actually refer to my DC power source that connects to my battery as a charger, never really gave it much thought.

In the early 60's I had a simple converter in a TT with a transformer, selenium rectifiers and a filter capacitor. Did not even have zenor diode control. But it was labled "battery charger". If this was left on 100% of the time the battery life was reduced for sure. Hmmm was this a converter or battery charger. The answer is "both".

But does anyone really care as long as the communication is understood. I really have nothing more to say on the subject.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:53 AM   #46
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Truthfully, I consider the discussion about converter/charger simply "Semantics".

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:46 AM   #47
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Truthfully, I consider the discussion about converter/charger simply "Semantics".

Dr4Film ----- Richard
Yes, but to maybe clear things up a bit, you can add tech and sophistication to most anything and will have to say that the converter/charger I have now is way above the OEM that came with the coach. It's super light in weight by comparison and has stages of charge that can be as much as 60amps or just a little trickle and does this monitoring very well. This is important if you're plugged in most of the time and are not constantly monitoring the cell levels.
My 36v golf cart charger is pretty sophisticated as well. Comes on strong and then peters down to almost nothing as it equalizes any differences in each of the six batteries.
Again, if you have an RV and it's not ancient maybe, and if it has a converter, then it most likely charges at least the coach batteries in some fashion. No more than 45yrs ago, I remember some TT's having two sets of lights. Some were 120vac, while others were 12vdc, so that you couldn't tax the trailer battery all that much if you were dry camping. Some would run their vehicles engine so as to charge up this sometimes single standard battery and don't remember too many in the way of deep cycle.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:05 AM   #48
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Y
My 36v golf cart charger is pretty sophisticated as well. Comes on strong and then peters down to almost nothing as it equalizes any differences in each of the six batteries.
Sorry, but if you are charging the 36volt bank, with your (so called) sophisticated charger, on a 36volt setting, the charger sees only a single 36volt battery. There is NOT any "equalizing (of) any differences in each of the six batteries" going on anywhere.

The term "equalizing" is used, abused and vastly misunderstood by folks on these forums, all the time. Equalizing, simply equalizes the electrolyte mixture and plate surface composition from top to bottom in a given cell. It is impossible for ANY device to equalize these characteristics across cells or battery combinations. If there are differences in acid/water mixture or defects in the plate composition from use/abuse, between cells/batteries, NO amount of equalization is going to fix that.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:25 AM   #49
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Truthfully, I consider the discussion about converter/charger simply "Semantics".
Dr4Film ----- Richard
I fully agree. Most folks, looking for help and assistance on these forums, either don't know, or don't care about, any subtle differences. They either have a converter, that is also their charger, or a charger that is also their converter. They're not here looking for a degree in engineering.

Some folks here get all tied up in semantics and details that they've heard from other forum 'experts' and forget how to relate to those who simply want assistance in resolving a problem. Just my humble opinion, of course.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:51 PM   #50
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Truthfully, I consider the discussion about converter/charger simply "Semantics".

Dr4Film ----- Richard
Richard - you are 100% correct - that is the point. Oops -said I was not going to say another word but the devil made me do it.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:53 PM   #51
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I fully agree. Most folks, looking for help and assistance on these forums, either don't know, or don't care about, any subtle differences. They either have a converter, that is also their charger, or a charger that is also their converter. They're not here looking for a degree in engineering.
Some folks here get all tied up in semantics and details that they've heard from other forum 'experts' and forget how to relate to those who simply want assistance in resolving a problem. Just my humble opinion, of course.
loulong
I don't think that the fact that a converter is not necessarily a charger and that a charger is not necessarily a converter is subtle difference.

IMO, knowing HOW your RV is equipped and how the various components work, (what they do, and do NOT do), is essential when attempting to resolve any RV problem, (be it electrical or mechanical).

Mel
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:53 PM   #52
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Sorry, but if you are charging the 36volt bank, with your (so called) sophisticated charger, on a 36volt setting, the charger sees only a single 36volt battery. There is NOT any "equalizing (of) any differences in each of the six batteries" going on anywhere.

The term "equalizing" is used, abused and vastly misunderstood by folks on these forums, all the time. Equalizing, simply equalizes the electrolyte mixture and plate surface composition from top to bottom in a given cell. It is impossible for ANY device to equalize these characteristics across cells or battery combinations. If there are differences in acid/water mixture or defects in the plate composition from use/abuse, between cells/batteries, NO amount of equalization is going to fix that.
I know and understand what you're saying about one big battery and am only stating what I thought I saw in the charger manual about evening out the individual batteries before it shuts down. I have seen times when it didn't shut down, but does so if I put it on charge again after a short run, so what's up with that?
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:14 PM   #53
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loulong
I don't think that the fact that a converter is not necessarily a charger and that a charger is not necessarily a converter is subtle difference.

IMO, knowing HOW your RV is equipped and how the various components work, (what they do, and do NOT do), is essential when attempting to resolve any RV problem, (be it electrical or mechanical).

Mel
'96 Safari
I respectfully disagree with the need to even draw attention to the fact that someone may refer to a generic RV converter as his battery charger, or vice versa. If someone asks you the difference, fine, puff out your chest and lay the technobabble on them if it makes you feel better. In my opinion, it's not necessary.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:33 AM   #54
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Oh how the terms get so confusing.

1/ The INVERTER changes DC to AC of some sort. Modified sine wave is nothing more than a sawtooth generator that is 'magically' filtered to RESEMBLE the true or PURE sine wave of commercial AC. Some devices will not work correctly or even survive this type of power source because it is very dirty (techno term).

A pure sine wave inverter creates an AC output that is a true representative of what we find in our house outlets.

2/ A battery charger has many different names in the world of RVing. Some INVERTERS are battery chargers, but not all. Some inverters also have two types of battery chargers on board. One is a high current output that is used to charge the house (deep cycle) batteries and the other is call an ECHO charger. It feeds a small current to the start batteries.

The above are very simple explanations. For the most of us they are magical boxes. I have batteries that are connected to a device that provides AC to my coach. When I plug into the pedestal this same device recharges the batteries! WoW!!!

The start batteries have a unique problem. How do they get charged when on shore power? On method the coach builders use is to have a bidirectional differential relay that provides charging to the start battery when the coach battery is satisfied and charges the coach battery from the alternator while the engine is running. It is often referred to as a BIRD relay. The one we use is built for a 100% duty cycle and rated at 200 A in most cases. It is common for this to fail and will cause much confusion if you don't know it is there.

Some folks get around the BIRD by simply installing a battery charger directly to the start batteries. There are many discussions about types, brands and how-to's.

In this 'new to me' coach we have a Magnum Inverter, 2800 W, pure sine wave that the residential refrigerator is compatible with. The inverter is coupled to 6 NAPA AGM deep cycle batteries. I am not certain how my start batteries are charge when I am on shore power. But, since May when we got this coach, all is working just fine.

Rick
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:22 AM   #55
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I am not certain how my start batteries are charge when I am on shore power. But, since May when we got this coach, all is working just fine.
Rick
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RV charging systems are like voodoo, (and a mystery to me).

On my coach, which I've had for 12 years, (105k miles), the house batteries are charged by the alternator, one 75 watt solar panel and the 100 amp 3 stage battery charger built into my Freedom 20 inverter/charger.

However, the chassis batteries are only charged/maintained by the alternator and a 5 watt solar panel.

I have not had any battery problems, (except that the original 6 batteries had to be replaced when they were 11 years old).
The replacements, (4 12V deep cycle and 2 12V maintenance free), are now 6 years old and still test good.

I guess I simply "got lucky", since so many owners seem to have charging/battery problems.

Mel
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:41 AM   #56
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Rick
RV charging systems are like voodoo, (and a mystery to me).

On my coach, which I've had for 12 years, (105k miles), the house batteries are charged by the alternator, one 75 watt solar panel and the 100 amp 3 stage battery charger built into my Freedom 20 inverter/charger.

However, the chassis batteries are only charged/maintained by the alternator and a 5 watt solar panel.

I have not had any battery problems, (except that the original 6 batteries had to be replaced when they were 11 years old).
The replacements, (4 12V deep cycle and 2 12V maintenance free), are now 6 years old and still test good.

I guess I simply "got lucky", since so many owners seem to have charging/battery problems.

Mel
'96 Safari, 132k miles
Not so much luck as it is to check for what's working and what isn't and then fixing or replacing what isn't. I replaced my original converter charger with a unit from Amazon and if I'd known how much better it was going to be, I would have replaced it long before the original went bad. Never did figure out what the problem was with the old one, after checking out everything I could think of, but as said, it was a waste of time anyway with this much improved unit and they have larger ones available as well.... Progressive Dynamics PD9260CV Inteli-Power 9200 Series 60 Amp Converter/Charger with Built-in Charge Wizard : Amazon.com : Automotive
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