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Old 08-20-2008, 11:38 AM   #1
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I recently acquired a Hughes Autoformer, had it checked out by Hughes who replaced the boards. My coach has a built in surge protector and when I went to use the Autofomer, I would lose power after about two hours. No breakers were tripped, so I reset it at the pedistal and approximately three hours later, I again lost power (the units next to me still had power). I then disconnected the AutoFormer, plugged in like I have in the past and still have power. I contacted Hughes who indicated the threshold on the surge protector is probably set at a low point (around 127) and when the park power exceeds that, it pops. I have never had this problem before, so when discussing this with Hughes, I inquired as to whether or not I should put my surge protector in by-pass and use the Autoformer.
If I read the owners manual correctly on the surge protector, I am still protected in a limited capacity.
Has anyone experienced this and if so, what was done to maximize the use of both?
Thank you,
Bob
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:38 AM   #2
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I recently acquired a Hughes Autoformer, had it checked out by Hughes who replaced the boards. My coach has a built in surge protector and when I went to use the Autofomer, I would lose power after about two hours. No breakers were tripped, so I reset it at the pedistal and approximately three hours later, I again lost power (the units next to me still had power). I then disconnected the AutoFormer, plugged in like I have in the past and still have power. I contacted Hughes who indicated the threshold on the surge protector is probably set at a low point (around 127) and when the park power exceeds that, it pops. I have never had this problem before, so when discussing this with Hughes, I inquired as to whether or not I should put my surge protector in by-pass and use the Autoformer.
If I read the owners manual correctly on the surge protector, I am still protected in a limited capacity.
Has anyone experienced this and if so, what was done to maximize the use of both?
Thank you,
Bob
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Old 08-24-2008, 12:36 PM   #3
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I wouldn't bypass the surge protector...think that's just asking for trouble.

Do you have the autoformer before or after the surge protector? If after then the surge protector is doing what is supposed to with the power from the pedistal.

We have always used the autoformer at the pedistal so the surge protector is AFTER the autoformer and never had a problem in that configuration.

You shoudl check the voltages at the pedistal and at the autoformer output to see if it's OK or not. Just because they checked and replaced a board doesn't guarantee that all is as it shoudl be. Could also be heat-up problem in the autoformer.
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:19 AM   #4
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I have the autoformer before the surge protector as it is hardwired to the coach. When it comes to the obvious, it never occured to me, so I will put a meter on it today.
Thank you.
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:41 AM   #5
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I checked it on a seperate pedistal, it checked out, lit up, etc. Then put it on the pedistal I am using, all lights came on, put the meter on it again, power on both legs, connected the surge protector, power lasted approximately 20 minutes, dropped the load. So I can only surmise, the boards are heating up, even tho it is sitting outside with a breeze on it. Haven't tried it in by-pass based on your recommendation, so I am now back to square one.
Power to the coach remains constant when connected using just the surge protector. Guess I will go back to Hughes for additional information.
Thanks again.
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:02 AM   #6
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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 Greyhound:
My coach has a built in surge protector and when I went to use the Autoformer, I would lose power after about two hours. No breakers were tripped, so I reset it at the pedestal and approximately three hours later, I again lost power Bob </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bob,

I've read the above a couple times and can't figure out for sure where you are losing power. You referred to resetting it so I'm thinking the main breaker on the pedestal tripped and the surge guard did not trip. If that is indeed the case, then you are running into a situation where the autoformer is boosting the voltage supplied to the motorhome which thereby increases the current supplied by the pedestal above the pedestal rating.

As an example, on a 30 amp rig, if you were to put a amp meter on the powercord of your motorhome, you may see a 28 amp draw on the input power. If that power cord was plugged into the autoformer and the autoformer was boosting the voltage 10 percent, you would see a corresponding increase in the current on the input side of the autoformer of 10 percent. Therefore, if you measured the current at the pedestal, you would see 28 amps + 2.8 amps, = 30.8 amps which would eventually trip the pedestal breaker.
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:54 AM   #7
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Joe,
The breaker on the pedistal has not tripped, nor have any breakers in the coach. What has happened is: When I connect the auto former to the pedistal, the power cord to the autoformer, which has the surge protector inline, I wait the required 2 minutes 16 seconds and the power to the coach comes on. Initially it lasted for about two hours, then power to the coach stopped. At first I thought a breaker had tripped, checked them all, none off line. Then I thought power in the park had dropped, it hadn't. I then went to the pedistal, flipped the breaker off, then on, waited again, power was restored. Approximately 30 minutes later, power once again dropped, no breakers were tripped. I contacted Hughes, who had replaced the boards, and inquired what may be the cause. I then considered putting the protector in by-pass and was advised not to. I then contacted SurgeGuard, explained the situation to them and received a response that was luke warm and again, advised not to use the by-pass. I checked the voltage at the pedistal with and without the autoformer and it was good. I then reconnected everything, heard two clicks and buzz from the autoformer, went to the surge protector waited for it to click, which it did, patted myself on the back as all was working and it was apparently a fluke, when power to the coach quit and again, no tripped breakers. I now the autoformer in the bay and the power cord with the inline protector in the pedistal and have not experienced any problems.
I intend to contact Huges again with describing the above to them again.
I travel to Mexico, so having the added protection and power boost is the primary reason for having the Autoformer repaired in the first place (and besides it was given to me), however now it is starting to seem like it wasn't such a good idea.
Hope this clairifies what is happening and that you have the "magic" cure tucked away in your vast knowledge base.
Thank you,
Bob
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