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Old 08-25-2019, 11:22 PM   #85
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Have to agree with above. Had a truck camper with a Coleman 13500 btu ac. Would not start with the Supco capacitor,on a Honda EU2000. but would with the Micro-air. Put an amprobe on it and with Supco would jump to over 25 amps and trip off gen. With the Micro-air would start up at 3 amps, go to 4 amps then ramp up to 13 amps. Honda was at full speed and probably maxed out, but it worked.
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:46 AM   #86
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I installed a 15,000 btu Penguin II high efficiency unit and the Easystart kit. All I can say it that the 20 amp genset had no trouble starting the unit, and keeping it going, even on the hottest days. So, all the talk that the Easystart isn't needed sounds like someone who never actually used a 15k unt with the Easystart. A 20 amp genset wont' have any trouble at all with both.
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Old 08-26-2019, 02:47 PM   #87
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Thanks for the reply - however I strongly recommend that you re-read my last post, as it explains why you can't manipulate your same low voltage and amperage to cure a low voltage problem. The $9 capacitor has been used for decades to start compressors is a proven method used in millions of AC units.

These $300 units are simply a hoax to take advantage of unsuspected RV owners. Think about for a minute, how can this simple device cost near half the price of an entire AC unit. The answer is simple, they are worth no more than $20-30.

Regardless, any RV with a 15k BTU AC system is designed incorrect and will not work properly with present 30 amp service using 20 amp breakers. You can't run 18-19 amps through a 20 amp breaker in the heat, it just won't work.

I highly recommend that you see if you can still return your soft start and get yourself one of those $9 Caps, they work perfect, but won't fix the low voltage problem, its just a Band-Aid!

Best Regards - Mike
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:50 PM   #88
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You do realize RV AC units only use max amperage very briefly during compressor startup and then settle back to a smaller run amperage.
Dometic no longer labels their largest RV AC systems as 15,000 btu, but calls them "High Capacity" units. Most Dometic Hi Capacity AC model compressors are rated at 12.3-12.5 amps, and 13,500 btu rated models are almost identical. The 11,000 btu models are rated at 10.5 amps. The fan motors are rated from 2.5 to 3.5 amps regardless of high capacity, 13,500, or 11,000 btu ratings.

I've run a new Dometic Penguin II Hi Capacity AC easily on 30 amp service and it runs just as well as the 13,500 models, but produces cooler air output. When my other two 13,500 units fail, I plan to replace them with high capacity units as well.
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Old 08-26-2019, 04:36 PM   #89
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You do realize RV AC units only use max amperage very briefly during compressor startup and then settle back to a smaller run amperage.
Dometic no longer labels their largest RV AC systems as 15,000 btu, but calls them "High Capacity" units. Most Dometic Hi Capacity AC model compressors are rated at 12.3-12.5 amps, and 13,500 btu rated models are almost identical. The 11,000 btu models are rated at 10.5 amps. The fan motors are rated from 2.5 to 3.5 amps regardless of high capacity, 13,500, or 11,000 btu ratings.

I've run a new Dometic Penguin II Hi Capacity AC easily on 30 amp service and it runs just as well as the 13,500 models, but produces cooler air output. When my other two 13,500 units fail, I plan to replace them with high capacity units as well.

Thanks for the reply - I would double check your information. A 15k btu AC units will consume 16-18 amps with the fan on low, where on a 13.5k btu AC unit is normally only 10-12 amps.

No matter how you slice it, you can't draw 18 amps off a 20 amp breaker in summer without having problems. Aside from running the limits on a 20 amp breaker, a bigger problem is the current it takes to start the pump, this is why everyone is wasting $300 on these $20 boards.

keep in mind it takes a certain amount of energy to create 1 btu of cooling. There is no magic AC units on RV's, they are just simple motor driven compressors.

Isn't it ironic that for decades and decades we had hundreds of thousands of 13.5btu units on RV's and no one had any starting problems. Then like magic, RV manufacturers in error install 15.5 btu units and all of a sudden everyone is scrambling to fix their RV AC units!

Anyhow in best interest of this thread on "Lithium verses Generators" we've all ventured off the topic but thanks for all the reply's!

Regards Mike
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Old 08-26-2019, 05:31 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idleup View Post
Thanks for the reply - however I strongly recommend that you re-read my last post, as it explains why you can't manipulate your same low voltage and amperage to cure a low voltage problem. The $9 capacitor has been used for decades to start compressors is a proven method used in millions of AC units.
Thanks, but I think you seem to be confused how a starting capacitor works and what a soft starter does.

Induction motor starting current is high enough to cause a short voltage sag, a soft starter will reduce the start current and therefore voltage sag. A hard start capacitor will pull more current creating a larger sag. A hard start capacitor is not a solution to a low voltage sag issue. Neither a capacitor, nor a soft starter, nor a new smaller a/c will solve a chronic low incoming line voltage, for that you would need a autoformer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Idleup View Post
These $300 units are simply a hoax to take advantage of unsuspected RV owners. Think about for a minute, how can this simple device cost near half the price of an entire AC unit. The answer is simple, they are worth no more than $20-30.
Soft starters are not hoaxes, they are expensive because they are not simple, they are computer motor controllers that learn the minimum current needed to start the motor and do a slow ramp up. You may not want to pay the price, fine, they are however real and do work as more than one person here has attested.

You can do a quick search online and find many manufacturers of soft starters and they are heavily used in industry to reduce stress on both electrical and mechanical systems during motor startup. Micro-air just happens to make one that works well in RV air conditioners, its not the only one out there, and they all have similar prices.

The Micro-air does a couple of other things that I imagine some of the other soft starters out there also do. It delays compressor startup about 5 seconds to allow fan startup to occur first staggering the start surge from the two motors. It also detects various fault conditions and disconnects the compressor from power for a short time to allow things to clear up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Idleup View Post
Regardless, any RV with a 15k BTU AC system is designed incorrect and will not work properly with present 30 amp service using 20 amp breakers. You can't run 18-19 amps through a 20 amp breaker in the heat, it just won't work.

I highly recommend that you see if you can still return your soft start and get yourself one of those $9 Caps, they work perfect, but won't fix the low voltage problem, its just a Band-Aid!
My 30 amp coach works just fine with a 20 amp breaker and a 15k btu a/c even under low voltage and hot conditions so I have no idea where you are coming from. To pull 19 amps on my 15k a/c the line voltage would need to be below 106v in 114f outside air temps.

Again the only issue I had was after I added my inverter inline it had an issue with the low voltage disconnect threshold on a/c startup, the Micro-air solved the issue completely and as an added bonus I can easily start off the batteries.

I have no desire to return the Micro air, it is cheaper than replacing my 15k btu unit with a 13.5k that also has less cooling capacity. If you prefer a 13.5k unit I see nothing wrong with that solution, however claiming soft starters are a hoax is yet more mis-information.
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:20 PM   #91
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The Micro-air easy start may be a rip off at $300, and may only cost $50 to manufacture, but the fact remains that it will start an AC with a small generator while a $9 cap will not. I have tried on a EU2000 and with a brand new Supco on my 13500 btu AC and it tripped the generator breaker.
With the easy start, started up fine and cycled fine, I am a believer.
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Old 08-26-2019, 08:23 PM   #92
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Thanks guys for all the replies, however my final comment on this subject is the only difference between the capacitor and a soft start is $290. Since HVAC is one of my trades, I can assure you a start capacitor will fire up any AC unit the soft start will start.

Since this is off topic, I think we have more than covered this in detail. Therefore if anyone wishes to continue this soft start conversation, I ask that you please take your comments to the many other threads on these devices, so we can get back to the treads topic.


Many thanks in advance - Mike
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Old 08-27-2019, 09:03 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by Idleup View Post
Thanks for the reply - however I strongly recommend that you re-read my last post, as it explains why you can't manipulate your same low voltage and amperage to cure a low voltage problem. The $9 capacitor has been used for decades to start compressors is a proven method used in millions of AC units.

These $300 units are simply a hoax to take advantage of unsuspected RV owners. Think about for a minute, how can this simple device cost near half the price of an entire AC unit. The answer is simple, they are worth no more than $20-30.

Regardless, any RV with a 15k BTU AC system is designed incorrect and will not work properly with present 30 amp service using 20 amp breakers. You can't run 18-19 amps through a 20 amp breaker in the heat, it just won't work.

I highly recommend that you see if you can still return your soft start and get yourself one of those $9 Caps, they work perfect, but won't fix the low voltage problem, its just a Band-Aid!

Best Regards - Mike

Mike,

I don't mean to argue with you, but the Penguin II's usual amp usage about 14-15 amps, not 18-19. And the SoftStart is not the same as a $9 capacitor as it is microprocesser controlled and bit more advanced than that. I suggest you do a bit more investigation. The Softstart simply reduces the locked rotor amperage jump by slowing engaging the compressor. A capacitor does not. I'm sorry, but since you don't have one, and seem not to really understand how they work, your criticism of the device is unfounded. It's worth every penny in my opinion having owned one and used it in practice rather than in theory.
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Old 08-27-2019, 11:19 AM   #94
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Mike,

I don't mean to argue with you, but the Penguin II's usual amp usage about 14-15 amps, not 18-19. And the SoftStart is not the same as a $9 capacitor as it is microprocesser controlled and bit more advanced than that. I suggest you do a bit more investigation. The Softstart simply reduces the locked rotor amperage jump by slowing engaging the compressor. A capacitor does not. I'm sorry, but since you don't have one, and seem not to really understand how they work, your criticism of the device is unfounded. It's worth every penny in my opinion having owned one and used it in practice rather than in theory.
Thank you for your reply, I don’t want to cut you short however we need to get back to the topic. I will mention that Bob a friend I fly with has both of these start units as well as the capacitor and all three devices started the AC unit the same. Keep in mind the only alternative is to start the compressor once it running non of these devices is needed.

As I mentioned these devices all have the same task and the only difference is the soft start cost $290 more yet achieves the same objective.

Again I ask that we please keep the reply’s on the topic.

Many thanks Mike
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Old 08-27-2019, 05:00 PM   #95
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Lots of good information Mike although on the sprinter vans, would prefer a bigger diesel tank, no propane at all and a diesel water heater/space heater like the old webasto units, and engine motoraid for the water heater.
A small dc diesel generator only for battery charging would work.

I am impressed with your knowledge, but am a little disappointed in your close-mindedness on the Micro-air. Probably 95% of the people who use them, went the capacitor route first, and then went with the micro-air. You may be an hvac expert but doubt you have every tried to run a roof ac on a 2000 watt inverter or a 2000 watt generator.
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Old 08-27-2019, 05:40 PM   #96
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Lots of good information Mike although on the sprinter vans, would prefer a bigger diesel tank, no propane at all and a diesel water heater/space heater like the old webasto units, and engine motoraid for the water heater.
A small dc diesel generator only for battery charging would work.

I am impressed with your knowledge, but am a little disappointed in your close-mindedness on the Micro-air. Probably 95% of the people who use them, went the capacitor route first, and then went with the micro-air. You may be an hvac expert but doubt you have every tried to run a roof ac on a 2000 watt inverter or a 2000 watt generator.
LOL Sorry Guys - maybe it's just old age. Us old guys are still used to paying less than a dollar for a gallon of gas, so it rubs off. It's just unthinkable to spend $300 when a $10 device works.

Old school Thinking?

By the way, on the subject of Sprinter's here is a link to my Midwest Sprinter article if you haven't seen it!

http://www.rotory.com/sprinter/midwest/

Enjoy - Mike
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Old 08-27-2019, 11:20 PM   #97
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Needless to say, from experience with a stock capacitor, the genset couldn't handle it. With the Easystart, it could. That's proof enough for me it's worth $300.00.


As for the conclusion on this thread that the Onan is a better alternative that a lithium setup, I admit for others this could be true, but for me, not so much.


I previously had a Class B with an Onan LP genset. The Onan Genset I had was loud, smelly, and very unreliable. We rarely used the A/C because we rarely needed it. And when we did, it was a 50/50 gamble it would start. It required 2 hours of exercising a month, which is about 1.9 hours more than I needed it for an entire year. Now, for others than may do a lot of boon-docking where unlimited (except by fuel on board) power is needed, a genset is likely a better choice. But for me, I may need it to run the microwave and worst case scenario a couple of hours of A/C. A 600amp lithium system will do that perfectly. As a backup, if I plan to do more than a night or two of boondocking, I'll bring along a Honda 2200watt genset for emergency backup that will likely never be needed. I will not install a 2nd alternator. I will instead install a DC to DC charger off the alternator to limit the amps, as well as provide the correct voltage to the lithium batteries.

I ordered a new Class B+ to be delivered in a month or so. I specifically did not order the genset, AGM's, 2000 watt inverter, and flex panels that the manufacturer installs at a cost of about $8500.00. Instead, I'll install 600amp lithium batteries, a 3000watt inverter, and 4 100 rigid solar panels. When I add the cost that the factory installed equipment would have been, plus the tax credit I'll get to take, the difference: about $6500.00. I'm more than happy to pay that difference not to have to deal with an Onan genset ever again.


So, while going the lithium route may not be a good idea for everyone, after 11 years of using a Class B with a genset, I'm confident that it is for me.
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Old 08-27-2019, 11:28 PM   #98
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LOL Sorry Guys - maybe it's just old age. Us old guys are still used to paying less than a dollar for a gallon of gas, so it rubs off. It's just unthinkable to spend $300 when a $10 device works.

Old school Thinking?

By the way, on the subject of Sprinter's here is a link to my Midwest Sprinter article if you haven't seen it!

http://www.rotory.com/sprinter/midwest/

Enjoy - Mike

Agree with you Mike, hard to overcome "old school thinking".
5 years ago, thought Lithium-ion was just a "great new idea" like the magnets on your gas line to realign the molecules and give you a 25% increase in gas mileage. Today I have 600 a/h's of lithium-ion.
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