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Old 11-04-2008, 05:05 PM   #1
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Southeast Region Fall Rally - October 2008

While participating at the Southeast Region Fall Rally in MT Airy, NC at the Mayberry Campground RV Upgrades.com sent me the Iota DLS-45 Series M Converter/Charger with IQ Smart Controller. On Saturday morning after Colleen and Connie went shopping the breakers were tripped and the coach batteries were disconnected per the instructions at the positive cable and the task or replacing my current converter began.


Converter location under galley cabinet.

I had already been through 3 sets of batteries and the last set were observed fuming. A hydrometer test showed that the Interstate Group 24 batteries were showing indisputable signs of having failed. Replacing the Groups 24s with new Trojan Group 27s, I wanted to give the new batteries the opportunity to fulfill their expected life span of 4 to 6 years. In order to accomplish this in my opinion and others it would be necessary to upgrade the converter/charger technology.

The existing Parallax Power Components Model 7445 was located under our kitchen cabinet drawers adjacent to the refrigerator. I pulled all 3 drawers out to provide enough light in the area and I removed the lower right side drawer tracks. The tracks are only held in by 1 screw and they slide into a mount on the back wall.


Connections to the existing converter showing wire locations

The converter is held in by 4 screws which 3 need to be completely removed except the right rear screw. I used the RR screw as a guide to mount the new converter. The converter was unplugged, and the 2 heavy gauge charge cables and a number 8 AWG bond wire were removed from the rear of the converter.

The new Iota converter fits right into the space since it's about 30% smaller. Without mounting the converter it is easier to fit and secure the cables to the back of the converter when you have a little wiggle room. The large charge wires in the enclosure were black and green. The black is the hot and the green is the ground. The #8 bond wire is also green. The Iota's wires are tightened using a power driver tip or large square tip. The #8 bond is tightened using a small flat tip.


Free space for the install showing wires yet to be connected to the new converter

The converter was positioned into the right rear screw and once anchored and slightly tightened, the other 3 screws were installed using a small cordless drill with a #2 Phillips tip. The converter's wires were checked for tightness and the power cord was plugged into the power outlet. A second plug is visible that powers the Dirt Devil central vac., it shares the outlet with the converter.

The installation was finished by installing the IQ Smart Controller on the upper part of the toe board under the drawer cabinet. One has to get down on all fours to see the LED indicator during the day however at night the LED reflects off of the floor. The controller can actually be mounted anywhere since all it needs is a piece of telephone cable with an RJ11 modular connector on each end.


Looking at the relative size of the 2 units. Remove the blue film on top of the Iota once installed

We are ready to bring the power back on-line so we turned on the breakers in the pedestal and restored the connections on the batteries. When the IQ controller is plugged in it flashes 6 times which identifies the number of cells in the battery(s). The controller then began flashing rapidly which indicated that the charger was in a rapid state of charge. After a couple of hours or so the LED began to flash slowly which indicates that it's applying a slow charge. Later in the day toward evening the LED turned a solid green which now indicates that the float charge function is available and that the batteries are fully charged.

The installation was completed by restoring the rails, drawers and retorting the step well hatch just in time because the girls had just gotten back from shopping. All in all, this was a very easy job which on the outside took about 30 to 40 minutes.


Wires being fitted to the converter. The converter cannot be secured to the floor until the connections are made.

Using state-of-the-art, switch-mode technology, IOTA Power Converter/Battery Chargers are engineered with the user and variable environmental conditions in mind. Extra care has been given to insure many years of service-free operation, even when subjected to extremely harsh conditions. Batteries are charged quickly and efficiently without over-charging and pumps, motors, and fans operate perfectly for prolonged life.

Exceptionally clean DC output
insures pumps, motors, fans, and lights work perfectly. This means longer life for any connected load; virtually no AC ripple to cause static or premature failure of radio or television equipment.

Quickly and efficiently charges batteries
from the full rated output of the IOTA battery charger. The battery charger then maintains the batteries, only putting into the battery what is required by load or self-discharge, cutting back to milliamps as the battery requires.

Protection against low and transient AC line voltage
as well as spikes coming from the AC power source or from improperly adjusted generators, a major cause of converter/power supply failure.


Finished installation

Meets F.C.C. criteria, minimizing radio and television equipment interference
especially on the lower frequency bands.

When used as a converter/power supply, the IOTA power converter will only supply what is required
by the load. When not in use it is essentially off, reducing electricity usage.

Lower operating temperature
half that of some switch mode electronic models, even in its subcompact size.
This means substantially longer life and safer operation.

Tight line-load regulation
ensures that the output voltage holds steady from no load to full load.
This keeps pumps, motors, and lights working at the correct voltage even during
brown-out situations.

Proportional Fan Circuitry
provides an extra measure of protection. During times of heavy load demands,
the automatic circuitry will activate the fan before thermal stress can
occur on any internal components.

External fuses protect the IOTA unit against improper wiring
and can be quickly and easily replaced.

Multiple units can be operated in series or parallel
to increase amperage for additional power.


IQ Smart Controller installed on the toe board

Take your DLS Battery Charger to the next level...
The IQ Smart Controller offers automatic charging control for DLS Battery Chargers, providing longer and safer use of your system's battery. The IQ Smart Controller is compatible with any DLS Battery Charger model and is covered under our standard Two-Year Warranty

The IQ Controller allows the DLS Charger to operate as an automatic 3-stage "smart charger." This gives the customer the benefit of Bulk, Absorption, and Float stage charging, increasing the charging capacity of the DLS charger and decreasing charge times, insuring proper and safe battery charging and minimizing over-charging. This "smart" technology monitors the battery at all times. If the DLS voltage remains in the long term stage for more than seven days, the IQ will automatically deliver a boost charge for a predetermined time and then returns to the normal float stage.

I want to thank of course "Depchief" who lent his hand in our picture and provided assistance in accomplishing this install.
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Old 11-04-2008, 07:22 PM   #2
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Iota DLS-45 </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I am facing the same issue as after 2 years my batteries, even though they have never run dry or required a lot of water, seem to be failing and run down very quickly now. Kids broke my hydrometer so I have to rely on voltage readings until I get a new one.

I noticed that Parralax still makes the 7400 series of Megnatek converters/chargers and does not endorse the "Smart" technology on systems where the load is taken off the batteries instead of the charger as they hold that the load (lights, water pump, etc) will nullify the value of the smart charge except for when in long term powered storage. Who do you believe?

Anyhow, nice install.

Do you notice any differences in the operation of your coach now concerning converter noise, lights flickering, TV intereference, etc?

The two hour rapid charge you got when you first turned it on, do you think that was a result of the old converter not working properly leaving the batteries low or just the default initial startup sequence of the Iota?

I also noticed what seemed to be water stains on and around the old converter, was that a contributing factor to its poor performace? My bad eyesight or a leak/spill?

I am also tempted to bump up to a 55 amp for a faster charge when boondocking so the EC30 will cycle the generator off faster when topping off the batteries for the night. Your thoughts?
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:21 AM   #3
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Great job Mike
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:43 AM   #4
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Nice job and presentation!!! Thank you.
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:53 AM   #5
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Wow, this was almost an identical Deja Vu !!! Three weeks ago I replaced my coach batteries... I picked up two new SRM-29 Interstate Deep Cycles for the coach, and one MTP-78 Megatron Plus Interstate cranking battery for the chassis. The two 29-series batteries were a tight fit into the under-the-steps battery tray, but they made it.
Then last week, I opted to get rid of my old Parallax (OEM) inverter like you. But instead of an IOTA smart charger, I opted for the Progressive Dynamics Intellipower 9245 smart converter/charge. It has the built-in Charge Wizard with three stage charging, and it's desulphation mode is automatic every 21 hours. I think both our new converter/chargers are essentially the same. They certainly look almost identical, and both use a remote 'pendant' with LED to indicate their output level. Even their prices are within a couple bucks of each other (about $175).
I agree with you DriVer, this was a very simple and easy install. I have not noticed any improvements yet from the converter changeover (that will take some time/experience); ...but I can say that the new SRM-29 batteries have a lot more "staying power" than the old 24 series (OEMs) that Winnie supplied.

Nice write up & pics DriVer!

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Old 11-05-2008, 05:59 AM   #6
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I did the same thing about a year ago, but I went up to the 55amp model for more charging with very little extra cost. Glad I did, thought about the 75amp, but that was quite a bit more.
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Old 11-05-2008, 06:41 AM   #7
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Very nice write up and quite timely. I too am about to take out the Magnetek 7445 charger and replace it with a PD 9245C with pendant.
I've looked over my current set up and it's quite similar to yours, so replacement should be painless.
I'm also installing a Trik-L-Charge for the chassis battery.
All components have been ordered and am awaiting delivery...then the fun begins.
Thanks for taking the time to document the operation.
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:30 AM   #8
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[quote]Originally posted by NeilV:
Who do you believe?[quote] NeilV, Thanks for your reply and I appreciate you took the time to offer your thoughts. Who do I believe? Well ... I believe our other members who have had experience with this type of equipment. The fact that "Flytyer" has not had to add a drop of water to his batteries for a long time in of itself made me want to move in this direction. I chose this specific brand of equipment because I want to support our on-line sponsor, RV Upgrades.com and advertisers.
Quote:
Do you notice any differences in the operation of your coach now concerning converter noise, lights flickering, TV interference, etc?
Too soon to tell but all my 12volt lights are bright and flicker free.
Quote:
The two hour rapid charge you got when you first turned it on, do you think that was a result of the old converter not working properly leaving the batteries low or just the default initial startup sequence of the Iota?
I am sure it was the Iota setting itself up with the bank of batteries.
Quote:
I also noticed what seemed to be water stains on and around the old converter, was that a contributing factor to its poor performance? My bad eyesight or a leak/spill?
After further review the play stands as called on the field ..... I don't believe that there was any external event that reduced the performance of the old converter.
Quote:
I am also tempted to bump up to a 55 amp for a faster charge when boondocking so the EC30 will cycle the generator off faster when topping off the batteries for the night. Your thoughts?
I am not at all certain about that. The charger functions on this equipment are going to be dependent on load, battery type, size, quantity and how much charge needs to be applied. It would be my opinion that the charger functions would be close to the same - too close to call one way or another. On the other hand "IF" I had 55 amps of connected 12volt load I would go with the bigger converter. Don't forget that the technology is dependent on the wire gauge size (AWG) that supplies the power to the DC bus and batteries.

Yes I could have gotten the 55 amp unit for "a few dollars more" (Italian western comes to mind with Clint Eastwood) but; Q = Will the rig ever use that amount of power in its lifetime?
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by troth:
Wow, this was almost an identical Deja Vu !!!
Yogi would have said, "It's like Deja Vu all over again!"

I would have been challenged to stuff Trojan 29s in my battery compartment without blasting.
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lt46:
Very nice write up and quite timely. I too am about to take out the Magnetek 7445 charger and replace it with a PD 9245C with pendant.
Sharring information is fun and I hope that I have provided just a little bit of encouragement for those folks that may be considering to do the same thing.

I use a "Battery Minder" on the automotive battery and that's plugged in forward in the coach and runs back to the battery compartment.

At night my coach has so many multi colored LEDs blinking and or not that it looks like something out of a sci-fi mag!
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Old 11-10-2008, 05:30 AM   #11
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Driver,
I don't mean to hijack this wonderful topic. I just completed the removal of my Magnetek 7445 and instal of a PD 9245C w/ charge wizard.
While looking in the open space I noticed a rubber boot covering a wire connection point. You can see what I'm talking about in your picture titled "free space for the install showing wires.....". Center of the photo, 3/4 of the up. Do you have any idea what that connection is for?
BTW, your picture perfect documentation made my swapover s-i-m-p-l-e, thanks again.
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Old 11-10-2008, 01:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lt46:
Center of the photo, 3/4 of the up. Do you have any idea what that connection is for?
Lt56, Absolutely!
It's a lug. The precut and fitted cable that is attached to the bus and batteries is terminated on the lug. The cable that comes off of the lug that connects to the converter can be made to almost any length which allows the converter to be placed within reason just about anywhere. If you were to cut the cable feeding the converter you could just replace that cable without compromising the hard wiring to the coach's circuitry. The black rubber boot is simply an insulator.
Quote:
BTW, your picture perfect documentation made my swapover s-i-m-p-l-e, thanks again.
You're welcome!
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:55 AM   #13
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DriVer - Thanks for this writeup. I was just installing liners in the draws and as I did I thought about the Converter. I hadn't had a chance to actually take a look at it. Once I saw what it was I immediately did a search on the forum and your great writeup appeared. It looks like yours is physically the same as ours. Now I've got to start keeping an eye on the batteries and alternative converters. Any suggestions from anyone on what to go with? I absolutely want to get a smart charger.
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:32 AM   #14
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Let me say this about your upgrade:

First: It will be free, long term, in fact it will PAY you long term.. Why.. Because the IOTA IQ4 converters are among the very very best (Same as my Progressive Dynamics Wizard job) and it just don't get better than very very best..

The Parallex... Let's just say it is not the best and leave it at that.

This means your batteries will last much much longer.. Even longer,, Perhaps several YEARS longer.

Think of all the batteries you won't be buying and subtract their cost from the cost of the upgrade... See why it's free?

Second: G-24's a pair of 'em. You might see if you have options there.

While I can not guarantee they will fit.. (They are close in length and width, but somewhat higher) a pair of GC-2 Golf Car batteries offers over 1/3 more amp hours. However they are usually flooded wet type, (you add DISTILLED water from time to time) not Maintenance free.. Generally less than 70 each at Sams club. may well make them cheaper too.
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