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Old 10-16-2008, 07:21 AM   #1
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We have owned our camper for two years now and have always been annoyed by two noises.
1-the power box hums constantly
2- when I use the audio speakers, there is a constant buzz under the music.

I have dug into the power box and am certain the problem is due to the power converter section of the unit. What I don't know is whether getting a new converter will fix the problem or not? Surfing the net, I cannot tell if this hum is normal or not.

Does anyone have any suggestions for either sound and/or know if replacing the unit (for about $225 DIY) would just take care of both problems?

My husband thinks I am nuts but the sounds have driven me crazy every time we take the camper out so I am determined to get them fixed
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:21 AM   #2
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We have owned our camper for two years now and have always been annoyed by two noises.
1-the power box hums constantly
2- when I use the audio speakers, there is a constant buzz under the music.

I have dug into the power box and am certain the problem is due to the power converter section of the unit. What I don't know is whether getting a new converter will fix the problem or not? Surfing the net, I cannot tell if this hum is normal or not.

Does anyone have any suggestions for either sound and/or know if replacing the unit (for about $225 DIY) would just take care of both problems?

My husband thinks I am nuts but the sounds have driven me crazy every time we take the camper out so I am determined to get them fixed
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Old 10-19-2008, 06:20 AM   #3
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I suspect the hum is from an older style tranformer converter. If so the hum will never go away. Nothing wrong just the nature if the beast. You didnt mention if the audio is DC or AC. Check your antenna contections.
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:44 PM   #4
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How old of a converter is it?

Some of the older ones seem to be little more than a transformer and rectifier...

My unit has the original equipment magnatec, which does hum. If I'm plugged in and the batteries are charged, I'll just shut off it's circuit breaker when I want to sleep.

If I weren't looking at upgrading to a bigger toyhauler, I think I'd be getting one of the intellapower jobs- for quieter operation and faster charging.
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:57 PM   #5
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Something I did before I replaced my Magnatec I found where it was plugged in and put it on a timer so it would shut off at night so I could sleep and not be hummed to sleep.

Paul


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Jeff_in_The_Dalles:
How old of a converter is it?

Some of the older ones seem to be little more than a transformer and rectifier...

My unit has the original equipment magnatec, which does hum. If I'm plugged in and the batteries are charged, I'll just shut off it's circuit breaker when I want to sleep.

If I weren't looking at upgrading to a bigger toyhauler, I think I'd be getting one of the intellapower jobs- for quieter operation and faster charging. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 10-21-2008, 08:55 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone, my unit is original, so 1997, and it looks almost identical to the photos here
http://www.bestconverter.com/Magnete...CO_ep_8-1.html
where they are illustrating how to replace the unit I have with a Magnetek.
So, Blue74, you say you used the timer "before [you] replaced [your] Magnatec"....was the replacement quiet?
What did you replace with? The intellapower that Jeff mentioned?
BTW, my audio is wired into the power system, not into an outlet. And the antenna is non-configurable, just one plug connection. The audio system is a simple dashboard mount type system.

Thanks for the info so far.....
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Old 10-21-2008, 04:55 PM   #7
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Pschiltz

I purchased a 9180 and then the extra charge wizard ($285.77 from PPL) and mounted it under the entertainment center which is about 4 feet from me and I have not herd a peep out of it. The Magnetek 9200 series I have is just a large black box (transformer) mounted under the bedroom slide out with a 110V cord and two wires heading to the batteries it was not part of a control /fuse panel like some. Mine looks like this.
The biggest reason I replaced mine was not the noise but the cooking of batteries since mine sets plugged in but I am gone for weeks at a time. I have photos of the install and can post them to Google/Picasa if you need.


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Old 10-21-2008, 11:02 PM   #8
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My toyhauler is also a 97. The magnatec converter/charger I have is different than the one you show, though, in that it is seperate from the circuit breaker/power box.

I was thinking if I were to replace it, I'd probably run the inteli-poer 9200 series in 60 amp. The 9200 series has the charge wizard features built in. A buddy has a converter/charger from progressive dynamics, and it does seem quiet unless the batteries are down, when you will hear the cooling fan.
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:14 AM   #9
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You guys rock, thanks for the quick feedback! One last question, if you're still around...
I was first drawn to that replacement Magnetek because the wiring would be identical, do you think the 91nn will be easy to integrate into my system... I will need to use it for my fuse panel. I found a wiring diagram for it and it appears that I would use my existing panel... the photos do not seem to indicate a new panel comes with it. I am pretty good at like-to-like replacements around the house/camper but that unit looks so different and I don't want to hire out the labor. What do you think? Can I handle it?
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:58 AM   #10
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All the converters I have seen wire up with only a 110 outlet that plugs into 110 AC duplex outlet for incoming power and a 12 volt positive (Red) a 12 volt negative (white) and ground (generally bare copper). Positive usually goes to either the fuse panel or to the positive side of your battery bank or sometimes both and negative that goes either to the negative side of your fuse panel or back to the negative side of the battery or both and ground which is connected to the chassis. Some also have a charge controller blob which plugs into a proprietary plug on the converter.

In my current trailer the converter is mounted inside a panel within the storage compartment and is wired directly to the battery bank. However, in my old Jayco (I miss that trailer)it was mounted under the entertainment area inside the trailer and wired to the 12 volt fuse panel there. Whenever it was charging the batteries it would start up the cooling fan and it was noticeable. I ended up moving it into the storage area and mounted it there along with a 4000 watt inverter both for easy access and to keep the noise down and ran #2 welding wire for the converter and 4/0 welding wire for the inverter directly to the battery bank. I prefer welding wire to regular wire because of its very fine wire core making it very flexible and the outer jacket is molded from both neoprene with a vinyl inner core for abrasion resistance and oil resistance. It's available at any welding store and they will cut it and crimp on the ends if you buy both the wire and heavy duty lugs there. The newer linier inverters are not only way more quiet at rest, but they use a cooling fan that ramps up to speed depending on current output. their noise is dependent on current draw and their charge rate is much faster then the older converters and is rated in true amp output. They are internally protected from over amp output and just drop voltage at extreme draw to prevent overheating. The newer inverters have drastically cut power draw, noise, and thankfully, fires in trailers and motor homes due to overheated components and with a charge wizard, built in or remotely mounted, they also prolong battery life by a factor of about 3. You certainly will notice a big difference in noise and battery life with a new unit.
I have had very good luck with both Iota and Progressive Dynamics converters and they have excellent customer service and are reasonably priced. I would also encourage you to buy a unit larger then what is currently in your trailer so they run quiet and run well within their design specs. If you currently have a 30 amp unit buy a new 40 amp converter and so on.
Good luck, -Paul R. Haller-
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:12 AM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Paul R. Haller:
However, in my old Jayco (I miss that trailer)it was mounted under the entertainment area inside the trailer and wired to the 12 volt fuse panel there. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Sounds like our previous 2000 Jayco Designer XL 3610RLTS. That was a good 5th wheel!

I replaced the original Todd Engineering converter in that Jayco with a Progressive Dynamics IntelliPower 9155 with Charge Wizard, and the only sound I ever heard from it was when the cooling fan would come on. Our current 5th wheel has a PD IntelliPower 9180 with Charge Wizard that came as original equipment, but it's in the service compartment in the basement so we don't hear it at all.

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Old 10-22-2008, 07:17 AM   #12
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If you do up size your amp converter it's also a good idea to up size any related wiring to/from the converter to the batteries. The more current draw the larger the wire needs to be to carry the load, all else being equal.
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Old 10-23-2008, 09:11 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone! Really, what a great conversation, so helpful. I am going to order the 45amp IntelliPower unit. My old one appears to have been 45amp and I don't want to have to upgrade all the way to 60amp and perhaps need new wiring. Wish me luck!
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:48 PM   #14
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At first glance I would say yes that you could use it. The way mine is wired is that the charger it wired to the batteries then a cable (10 ga. wire) is run to my fuse panel. http://picasaweb.google.com/Bookpaul1/ChargerInstall#
I uploaded some of the photos from my change over. On my first trailer it had a charger like yours but the company that had built it had added a switch so that if it was plugged in for long periods of time you could disconnect the batteries from the charger but with the new charger I do not worry about that on the new trailer.

Paul


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by pschiltz:
You guys rock, thanks for the quick feedback! One last question, if you're still around...
I was first drawn to that replacement Magnetek because the wiring would be identical, do you think the 91nn will be easy to integrate into my system... I will need to use it for my fuse panel. I found a wiring diagram for it and it appears that I would use my existing panel... the photos do not seem to indicate a new panel comes with it. I am pretty good at like-to-like replacements around the house/camper but that unit looks so different and I don't want to hire out the labor. What do you think? Can I handle it? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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