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Old 12-11-2012, 06:04 AM   #1
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Power Converter R&R

I need to replace my power converter. I've seen several posts attesting to the difficulty of accessing the device, but haven't seen any that detail the connections. I'm hoping that's because it's really easy.

Mine is easily accessed behind a large kitchen drawer. I know to disconnect everything 12v and 110v. Is changing the converter out as simple as plugging everything in on the new one where it was plugged in on the old one?

Are there any gotchas I should know about in advance here? I'm full-timing in cold weather, so I can't really get stuck in the middle of the job.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:26 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mo View Post
I need to replace my power converter. I've seen several posts attesting to the difficulty of accessing the device, but haven't seen any that detail the connections. I'm hoping that's because it's really easy.

Mine is easily accessed behind a large kitchen drawer. I know to disconnect everything 12v and 110v. Is changing the converter out as simple as plugging everything in on the new one where it was plugged in on the old one?

Are there any gotchas I should know about in advance here? I'm full-timing in cold weather, so I can't really get stuck in the middle of the job.
On my Previous RV, a Discovery, the converter/inverter went out. The unit was expensive, and heavy. We were in Tx., and stopped in Houston. A shop there sells rebuilds for half price; $500.00. A tech install it for a hundred. Six months later I started having trouble with the rebuilt unit, so called the place in Houston. They shipped me the replacement under warrantee, and I installed it myself. They're not hard to install. Just make sure you label all you wires and plugs before disconnecting.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:34 AM   #3
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Fortunately, my unit is a much less expensive model. No residential fridge or other big 12v loads. The biggest loads I have are probably running the furnace fan and charging the batteries.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:01 AM   #4
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Assuming you have a simple converter/charger, it's very easy, replaced my old antique a while back with a Progressive Dynamics 9200 series.

Disconnect batteries, unplug from 120, remove ground wire and the two 12v output cables going to the BCC (battery control center). My cables were permanently attached to the old converter, they were in good shape so I cut them at the converter. Then just removed the old converter (screwed to floor).

Place the new converter where all the connections will reach and secure. Attach ground wire and 12v cables. Connect batteries and plug into 120.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:38 AM   #5
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The install should be simple as discussed earlier. You need to know what charge current is recommended for your size of battery bank(s) and you may want to consider a multi stage charger. Single stage and excessive charge rates can prematurely wear out the batteries and require constant refilling. This is an opportunity to improve what might be old technology or a prior bad application install.

Make sure you have the 12v DC line polarity correct (usually +red -black) before plugging in the unit to 120vac
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:02 AM   #6
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The current unit is an IOTA DLS-45 Series M. Despite buying "new" from a dealer (it had been on the lot for a few months), I don't think it's OEM because there's another set of holes in the floor where it's installed. When I googled it, the spec I found suggests it spins down so the batteries don't get cooked, but I still have to add a lot of water.

I'll take whatever my local RV parts guys have in stock, but I wouldn't mind something that keeps my batteries happier.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:16 AM   #7
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There are basically two different types of power converters for this discussion (OEM TYPE) and only one type of "Replacement"

As a rule the replacements have either 2 or 4 connections Those with two usually have one black terminal marked (-) and one Red one marked (+). Those with 4 have two of each, internally connected in parallel so the connections are the same.

The two types of OEM are eitehr 1: The above or 2 a 3-connection unit (the thrid wire is often blue)

Blue and red connect together, to the red terminal

Black goes to black

(NOTE the 4 terminal are very large, high current, converters)

The other connecitons, common to all of them, are the 120 volt and those,, too come in 2 types.

hard wired, which are all the same

And plug in (They take a hard wired unit and put a power cord on it at the factory)
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:16 AM   #8
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Don't settle for inadequacy and outdated technology. These guys get great reviews and are available at most places. Not affiliated with them just a happy customer. Don't assume 45 amp charge rate is best for your situation unless you like filling with water or waiting longer than necessary to charge your batteries.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:21 AM   #9
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That IOTA is decent unit and I have to assume fairly new. A bit surprising it failed. I would not take anything the rv parts guy has, unless you're in an emergency situation.

Do yourself and your batteries a favor and get a Progressive Dymamics PD9245C

http://www.progressivedyn.com/prod_d...pd9245c_2.html

You can get one online shipped to your door for $140 - $150.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:23 AM   #10
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your Iota converter may or not have the IQ4 charge controller built in. There is a plug that comes with the converter for faster charging that may be plugged in instead of the IQ4. If it is plugged in, that may be why you need to add so much water.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:24 AM   #11
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Hopefully someone can chime in on what amp charge rating you should use for your capacity and type of battery bank. You may not have a choice if your new unit/component is still under warranty and you want to exercise the warranty.

We have (4) 220Ah 6v cells (440Ah @ 12v) and charge them with an 80amp Progressive Dynamics converter with no problems with water/time but not sure the application is optimal.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:36 AM   #12
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I'm using my motorhome as housing for a job out of town in an area where we do get overnight freezes -- low 30s last night. I like having light, heat, and cold beverages in the fridge in the evenings. I have one of the little ceramic heaters, but I won't leave it on over the weekend when I go home, so I need something pretty much today.

I limped through last night. It's putting out a little juice to the batteries and occasionally kicks out full output (bright lights momentarily), so I'm not completely dead in the water, but things ain't right and can't be trusted unattended in cold weather. My local RV dealer has a 55-amp unit in stock. I'll look over what else they have in stock, but I'm not looking to spend big bucks just now either.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Hopefully someone can chime in on what amp charge rating you should use for your capacity and type of battery bank.
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No residential fridge or other big 12v loads. The biggest loads I have are probably running the furnace fan and charging the batteries.
The 45amp PD9245 is more than sufficient for his needs.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:03 AM   #14
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John, don't you have an old battery charger laying you could use? Just a thought.
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