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Old 10-09-2005, 02:21 PM   #1
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Saturday nite about 4:00AM I kept hearing a clicking noise that I traced to the power converter. The only 12v power I could get was for lights - all other 12v power (Furnace, monitor panel, water pump etc) was not operational until I charged the coach battery. What's up with the power converter. Does the battery have to be somewhat charged for these heavy draw items to work properly even with 120v plugged in? We didn't have any problems until using for an entire night. Power converter is a Magnetek 40 amp with batter charger feature.

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Old 10-09-2005, 04:10 PM   #2
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Chevyrod, you don't give us a lot to work with, such as make and modelage of unit and battery etc., but here is a ahot. No, you don't even need a battery for the convertor to operate at normal load (40 amps @ 12 volts).

Consider disconnecting the battery ands see if the convertor alone will power the dc needs such as the furnace. If so, it sounds like the battery might be drawing too much power. Put a meter on the system with the battery isolated and see what voltage you are getting. Would be helpful to know what other trouble shooting was done. Did you recharge the battery with the convertor or with another charger? Did you confirm the recharge with a hydromometer or good quality/smart charger?

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Old 10-10-2005, 05:24 AM   #3
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The convertor is a Magnetek 3240, 40 amp output with a 6 amp battery circuit/charger. What I was told by the manufacturer was that because the furnace takes about 9-10 amps and is electronic ignition which requires "filtered" 12v power, available only from the battery and "battery side" of the converter we apparently exceeded the recharge rate of the converter.
In other words the battery and 6 amp charger circuit was not able to keep up to the load requirements over time. Does this sound right?? I have only one coach battery but there is room for a second battery. Would adding a second battery remedy the problem? I would guess that over time both batteries would eventually discharge. Can I add a secondary automotive charger to exceed the converter 6 amp? I know one fix would be to replace the converter with an updated model that supplies 50 amps of "filtered" dc power but cost is an issue plus the hassle of installing. I'm surprised that manufacturers would install an inadequate power system.
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Old 10-10-2005, 10:08 AM   #4
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Magnetek 3240 problem

I too am surprised they would equip an RV with a system not designed to carry the load. You are correct that the best solution would be a quality convetor such as the Intelli-Power series from Progressive Dynamics
When paired with their Charge Wizard you have a first class charge system. Adding another battery would help the problem unless you are running the furnace day and night. If not, a second battery would give you more reserve through the night until you could top it up during the day. But it doesn't sound like a real solution. A 45 amp Intelli Charger is $189 at Camping World. Another $25 for the Wizard. Perhaps someone familiar with the Magnatek will jump in share their experience and advise as to whethr your problem is typical of the equipment.
Also, you didn't say what condition the battery was in, although the convertor ought to carry the load IMHO.
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Old 10-10-2005, 10:34 AM   #5
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To clarify, the 40 amp output is "unfiltered" which is used for 12v lighting and other non-electronic equipment. Anything requiring "filtered" 12v such as furnace controller, system monitor etc is powered by the coach battery, which is normally sufficient. As I understand the problem, as these items use power the battery eventually loses charge over time as the "charger" circuit only outputs 6 amps. The newer converters have much higher "filtered" power output that doesn't have to rely strictly on battery condition.
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Old 10-10-2005, 12:53 PM   #6
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Could be either a bad converter - battery charging circuit - or a bad battery. When was the last time you checked the fluid level in the battery? It could be that your charger has ruined the battery by boiling it to death. The Magatek I had in my last rig tended to do this if I left it plugged in while in storage. It also ran its fan quite a lot while powering just lights.
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Old 10-11-2005, 03:33 AM   #7
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Originally posted by Moby Bill:
...the best solution would be a quality convetor such as the Intelli-Power series from Progressive Dynamics
When paired with their Charge Wizard you have a first class charge system....
For those who may not be aware, the 92XX series IntelliPower converters have the Charge Wizard function built in as opposed to the 91XX series converters where the Charge Wizard was an add-on accessory (like the 9180 that came in our current 5th wheel or the 9155 we retrofitted into our previous 5th wheel). Just in case you wind up shopping for a new power converter.....

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Old 04-10-2007, 12:13 PM   #8
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as experience has taught me there are two problems exist with the magna -converters in the explanation you have described first is if the house battery is dead or in a poor state that the auto-resetable internal 12V circuit breaker will not handle the amperage the battery will try and pull. Secondly there is also a remote posibility that the transfer switch built into the converter is defective
Parallax LLC. makes a converter replacement unit to slide into the combo unit to keep the cost down and install ease eliminating thre disc/reconn of A/C wiring.
My Recommendation on replacement manufacturer would be IOTA mfg. a quality converter and reasonable priced.(make sure and equip with charge regulator) good luck
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:07 PM   #9
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This is as good a place as any to ask this. My Intelli-Power converter makes a sort of hissing sound when the battery is well charged and has no load on it otherwise. When I start turning on the 12v lights and stuff and drawing power the hissing sounds dims or stops, depending on the load on it. The battery is less than a year old and hasn't really had a lot of use and I've kept it well charged and never discharged more than 50%.

Is the hissing sound normal or what? The voltage output is correct (13.6V). It's just a bit inconvient since I have to open a storage space to get at the plug for the converter to unplug it. I guess I need to rig up a power switch for it so I don't have to keep doing that. The hissing noise is very annoying plug I don't need to overcharge the battery which I think it may be trying to do. I have warrenty left on my converter so I need to find out if this is normal activity or not. There is fairly good ventation for it, not an extrenely confined space and it's not the fan that's making the noise, it's the circuitry or something, and only when the battery is fully charged, or nearly so. When fully charged it's loudest.

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