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Old 09-30-2019, 11:00 PM   #1
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Amish cooling unit & Dinosaur board frustrations

About 4 years ago now, I needed a new cooling unit for my 2005 Norcold refrige. I decided I should get the Amish cooling unit as I is supposed to be a better unit in sizing and cooling. It did seem to work very well. About a year after my new install of the Amish cooling unit, my stock Norcold controller board took a dump. Once a gain I researched and decided I should purchase a Dinosour Controller board. Came highly recommended just like the Amish Cooling unit.
So I immediately started having issues with the new board....nothing real serious, just a very sensitive board concerning voltage (low dc, high dc). Several attempts to discuss with Dinosour ends up in unsuccessful changes.
Fast forward about 3 and i/2 years, the Amish cooling unit burns out. JC Refridge honors the warranty, send me a new one and the wife and I remove/install yet another cooling unit (not very much fun). This time it seems I somehow kinked up the drain line and didnt get the unit sealed so good (lots of frost buildup on the fins). That unit has been in for a few moths now....In the meantime, the propane solenoid goes out, which I replace, the Dinosour board is acting does not want to switch from gas to electric (and visa versa) and even got hung in and on position on the control board but the refer was actually disconnected (had to remove the 12 volt input to the Dinosour board).
All this rant is in frustration.....sometimes it seems when you think you are doing all the things to better your system....your just going backwards.
Maybe, just maybe its better to stay with what you got.


Thanks for reading my rant.
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Old 10-01-2019, 06:22 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing. My RV repair guy advised me to put the factory replacement due to fit issues. Was thinking about the Amish replacement. You made me feel better about my decision.
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Old 10-02-2019, 03:33 PM   #3
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Your story sounds very familiar to me! I have installed two replacement cooling units and I can't depend on consistent cooling!

I am thinking strongly about getting one of the compressor-type cooling units from JC Refrigeration and ending all this frustration!
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:17 AM   #4
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I would love to hear more stories on the compressor replacement from JC. It makes total sense to me and I think uses little electric to run. Anyone, anyone?
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:20 PM   #5
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I had the electric only (compressor, no propane) unit installed by JC in May. Works great as long as I am on shore power. Solar/ batteries/ inverter can't keep up with the demand. Don't know why. No/little other 110 v usage.
Don't know the actual draw by the compressor. There's a cooling fan that runs every time the compressor runs (thermostat switch on the high pressure (hot) tubing).
They also installed dual 2.5" dc fans that attach to the cooling fins inside the fridge. The fans run constantly but do reduce the frost buildup. I had to re-solder the connection to the hot side of the interior fridge.
My fridge is a 2007 Dometic RM2852. They used the original control board.
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Originally Posted by funjnt View Post
I would love to hear more stories on the compressor replacement from JC. It makes total sense to me and I think uses little electric to run. Anyone, anyone?
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Old 10-07-2019, 10:57 AM   #6
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More about compressor types

I am also very interested in hearing about compressor swap and/or whole new fridge swap (compressor).
According to JC the compressor type should run on a battery for days (John Boys post tells a different result). I am looking into running through the inverter.
I have a gas rig with only 2, 6 volt coach batteries.
These days we are plugged in more than not, but on occasion we do some dry camping. Generator works fine and I don't mind running it a couple of times a day for a couple hours each run.
I am not knowledgeable about volts, amps and current, so I am interested in y'alls experiences and thoughts with compressor type fridges.
Thanks
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:31 AM   #7
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Amish cooling unit & Dinosaur board frustrations

In Sept of 2019 I had the Amish unit installed in my Norcold 1210 frig. The result was great. Frig stays at 36* and both freezers are at 8* and 12* respectfully with temp setting at 6. I chose the Amish unit even though the shop told me I should have used the original product (everyone pushes the oem part because they are all dealers. Thethford has a monopoly. No one else makes Refers for RVs) Back to my issue. Has anyone that has the Amish unit, experience the refrig NOT draining? We experienced water being in the vegetable drawer and on the bottom of the refrig after 2-3 weeks of use. I had to remove a block of Ice from the drain tray that's why water was dripping onto the the inside. Once I did that I purposly put water into the tray to test,with no draining happening. I put an extension on the drain tube and I found I was able to blow air up into the frig and if I sucked hard the water did drip, drip ,drip out onto the ground. This is the only way the frig water can be removed. I did this a few days a week until I got home.
I bought my cooling unit from Dave Force at RV Cooling Unit. He said the tube must have been kinked on install. I spoke to the guys that installed this unit., Their claim is they pulled the tube up straight as they are supposed to but that THEY think the tube opening was not in line with the hose so the hose may have a bow in it, maybe slanted up ward, maybe downward. They have no idea, and no one wants to assume any responsibility. There fore I ask all of you. Has anyone else had this experience and if so how was it rectified? I suspect that I will have to remove the frig from the opening, cut an access panel to free up the hose then reseal the cut out portion with construction foam. Comments and advice please. Thanks
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:51 AM   #8
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As mentioned, I have installed two Amish cooling units. The first worked great except it, after 3.5 years took a dump.
Installed the second cooling unit better than the first, I thought.....This one seems to frost up more (not sealed good enough I guess) and, yes, my drain tube does not drain well at all, ice builds up in drain tray.


The first problem was, I did not have the drain tray connected to the hose very well, thus, water around the bottom of fridge etc. Then once I got the tray properly connected to the hose (that was a bear), not much drainage.
I have decided that somehow I somehow put and uphill slant on the hose.
Between that and the frost, I pretty much just defrost the fridge every month. Check the drain tray often and use the baster to rid it of excess water.


I can only tell you that opening up the back of the fridge to correct the hose is not a task I look forward to. Its work, its cutting into sealed stuff and the hose runs all down the backside of the fridge. If you can look at the documentation, you will see the hose goes from top to bottom.
If possible, I would take it back to the installer and have them correct it (at no fee). They had to have done something to the hose (like me).
If the installer is not used to installing the Amish unit, its a bit of a different animal for some things such as routing hoses and electric lines.


Good Luck with all that!
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Old 11-14-2019, 09:33 AM   #9
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Madgoan,

Thanks for that info. When I checked my tube I was able to blow air up into the frig and If I sucked on the tube then the water did start to drip out, not flow. The tray eventually drained.
I too believe there is an upward slant in the tube preventing the gravitational pull.
As for the shop no charging to repair you can forget that. They already stated that they feel the drain tube opening was not in proper alignment so they are blaming the manufacturer.

I spoke to JR at JC Refrigeration where these units are made and explained the problem. He said that they too experience this drainage problem at times when they do an install, and that they just remove the drip tray on the inside of the frig and separate the tube from that tray and pull on the tube from the inside using pliers to "free it up". They have a second person outside pulling back down. They do this see-saw technique several times assuring the tube is freed and not binding anywhere. I asked about the tube possibly going on an upward slant and he felt that was not the issue. I don't know why.
We'll see if his technique works. I am a bit skeptical but hey, worth a try. I'm going to try that today and I'll let you know the results.
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madgoan View Post
About a year after my new install of the Amish cooling unit, my stock Norcold controller board took a dump. Once a gain I researched and decided I should purchase a Dinosour Controller board. Came highly recommended just like the Amish Cooling unit.
So I immediately started having issues with the new board....nothing real serious, just a very sensitive board concerning voltage (low dc, high dc). Several attempts to discuss with Dinosour ends up in unsuccessful changes.
I share your frustrations. We got an Amish cooling unit, and then a few years later our Norcold board went bad. Research revealed pretty much unanimous recommendations for the Dinosaur board.

Well, it's been awful. If power browns out when the generator is turned off, it switches to LP but will never switch back to AC on its own and there's no way to know that unless you happen to push the button to check the display. If I have low DC voltage for some reason, it weirds out. The diagnostic mode display is almost unusable because the numbers flip around crazily.

I thought maybe I had a bad board, and talked to Dinosaur and they seemed interested in my issues, and sent a new one. The new one acted exactly the same way, and I offered to give them some detailed information about what it was doing, kind of offering to be a beta tester for firmware upgrades, but they blew me off.

I hate the stress that Dinosaur board gives me, especially in light of all the recommendations. So thank you for posting about yours--it makes me feel not quite so alone.
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Old 11-15-2019, 08:03 AM   #11
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Therapy Guy
Yes, I can blow air through mine as well, get very little drip. Every once and again my outside drain tray has water in it.
I have tried the pulling back and forth on the hose. Obviously I pinched it good somewhere as it does not budge.
I will be interested in hearing your success!
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Old 11-15-2019, 08:12 AM   #12
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Oatmeal,
I have the same issues with the Dinosour Board. I have not had much success with Dinosour. I am an old software engineer. I may have to try developing my own board (LOL), although I think I am going to look for other alternatives as I tire of these issues and concerns.
I can tell you that we have reverted to more manual methods (if we remember to do them), such as, when going off electric, manually switch to propane. From propane to electric, manually switch the control....etc....
Good Luck and thanks for sharing, I feel better!
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Old 11-16-2019, 10:39 AM   #13
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Madgoan. I was successful with puling the tube into the refrig. I encountered a good deal of resistance initially but continued the process and all of the sudden the tube seemed to "pop" free and came in. Approximatly 4-5" from the connection to the water tray was a slight bend in the tube but also a twist which had squeezed the tube together. I massaged that area to get it warm and re-established the original form and gently pushed it back through the opening. I had marked the tube with a sharpie on the outside near the drip cup and when I checked I had gained 3.5-4" in length. I put water into the drip tray inside and the water flowed easily and quickly to the outside. I do recall JR telling me to twist the tube as I pulled. I DID NOT use pliers. I just gripped hard with my fingers. I did not want to tear or break the tube. I sure hope you re-try the technique and get the same results. I have to say that I had absolutely no water drip or flow unless I sucked on the tube and created a siphoning vacuum situation. If you are getting water to drip into the out side cup without the siphoning and you end up with no water in the drip tray inside I would think you are in pretty good shape. Good luck
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:15 PM   #14
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All of you folks with issues with Dinosaur Circuit Boards



Have ANY of you measured AC Ripple on the DC to fridge?


When on AC Shore Power
Use Voltmeter set to Low Scale AC Voltage
Measure the DC Voltage on fridge terminal block
The voltage reading will be the AC Ripple


AC Ripple wil cause all kinds of havoc with circuit boards....some more sensitive then others


AC Ripple is result of Converter capacitor failing (filters the DC Voltage) OR the Charging Section of an Inverter capacitor failing




AC Ripple should be LESS then 1V
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