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Old 08-22-2016, 04:38 PM   #1
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Surge Guard Voltage Regulator or Hughes Autoformer?

Opinions?
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Old 08-22-2016, 05:25 PM   #2
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Many use both

Welcome to the forum,

There are many discussions on this topic such as:
Autoformer vs surge protector

Be well.
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:28 PM   #3
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Thanks MtnTrek but....

I can find info discussing hughes auto former vs. a surge protector or EMS. But, I believe the sure guard voltage regulator and the Hughes auto former do the same thing and I'm trying to get a sense if one is preferred to the other.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:42 PM   #4
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oops, sorry sir, I saw the "surge" and thought of surge protection vs the buck and boost transformer. It is very similar to the Autoformer.

NOTE: The TRC Voltage Regulator is not a protective device and the connected RV will not be protected from damage should an open neutral or surge develop during the course of operation. The fault indicator panel is for indication only.
Using the TRC Voltage Regulator in conjunction with a Surge Guard RV power protection product provides the ultimate combination of low voltage and surge protection. The Surge Guard must be plugged in after or down stream of the TRC Voltage Regulator.
A variety of Surge Guard products are available to protect your RV from: High/Low Voltage, Open Neutral, Miswired Pedestals, and Surges.

Be well.
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:53 PM   #5
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Hughes helps in a brown out condition, when the AC is low due to heavy use, normally in summer when a lot of air conditioners are on. Some areas of the country are worse than others, camp areas my have it due to design of the system, or poor connections in the distribution of the AC.
EMS is for the opposite condition, surges on the power line due to storms, heavy loads coming off line, generally it is a momentary spike on the line.
Both of these situations can damage motors and electronics. I have had spikes in my S&b that took out different electronics in different rooms due to near by lightening strikes, the damaged devices surprised me.
Another consideration is the power may look good when you hook up, but both of these conditions can be transitory and destructive before you can realized the problem exists.
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Old 08-22-2016, 08:19 PM   #6
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Suggest to get something like the progressive industries EMS first. Such a device qualifies the power is good before allowing it to pass to your RV.

Then, if you routinely camp where low voltage is an issue consider adding a auto transformer.
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Old 08-22-2016, 08:52 PM   #7
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I believe the new Hughes unit is better because it has surge protection built-in as well where the Surge guard unit does not.

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Old 08-22-2016, 10:11 PM   #8
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I believe the new Hughes unit is better because it has surge protection built-in as well where the Surge guard unit does not.

Attachment 136817

Attachment 136818

The Hughes always had surge protection but as the surge circuit was often sacrificial the unit would have to be returned for repair. The new units are built with the surge circuit user replaceable.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:47 AM   #9
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Thanks all...continuing the discussion

I understand that, in theory, you put the voltage regulator (whatever brand) between the shore power and your EMS/Surge protector to have the voltage "smoothed out" BEFORE you get to the surge protection because the surge protector will shut down your power entirely if it reads the voltage is too low. But, reading about these voltage regulators it sounds as though they are "tempermental" or can get fried as well. Are there brands of these that are more reliable/stable or can withstand the foibles of shore power better than others?

Thanks
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:07 AM   #10
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One other point to consider...

I'm on a caravan with 10 coaches, most have 3 AC units with 2 of them on leg 1. It was a miserably hot day and those with 3 ACs had them all fired up. At least 2 of them have auto formers. In one park the voltage was pretty low and a coach with the auto former kept blowing the breaker at the pedestal. This appears to have been caused by the auto former trying to pull more than 50A. Of course, the breaker could have been on the weak side but the breaker was replaced and it did the same with the replacement. That person had to shut down one of the leg one ACs to stop that problem until later that evening when it was cooler and there was a lower draw on leg 1.

Perhaps that was an extreme situation but we were able to replicate the popping of the pedestal breaker when firing up AC #2 every time.

As a side note, for us being in the same loop without an auto former, I could clearly see Leg 1 voltage was 2-4 volts lower than leg 2. On other coach saw the same. We each only have 2 AC units so the lower voltage wasn't caused by 2 AC units running on our coaches.
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Old 08-23-2016, 05:06 PM   #11
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Sky Boss excellent point.

I=V/R' An Autoformer doesn't re-write OHM's law. It merely allows you to temporarily shift wattage to suit your present environment. If your voltage is sagging it alters the triad.
You are still minus the same amount of overall wattage. It's a temporary fix to use an increased amount of current at that voltage.
The CG infrastructure is overtaxed causing the voltage sag in the first place.
Your Power factor is reduced due to V & A phase shifting. This environment is generally not a healthy situation in the long term. It would be best to limit consumption and get on down the road sooner.

Be well.
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Old 08-24-2016, 10:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
One other point to consider...



I'm on a caravan with 10 coaches, most have 3 AC units with 2 of them on leg 1. It was a miserably hot day and those with 3 ACs had them all fired up. At least 2 of them have auto formers. In one park the voltage was pretty low and a coach with the auto former kept blowing the breaker at the pedestal. This appears to have been caused by the auto former trying to pull more than 50A. Of course, the breaker could have been on the weak side but the breaker was replaced and it did the same with the replacement. That person had to shut down one of the leg one ACs to stop that problem until later that evening when it was cooler and there was a lower draw on leg 1.



Perhaps that was an extreme situation but we were able to replicate the popping of the pedestal breaker when firing up AC #2 every time.



As a side note, for us being in the same loop without an auto former, I could clearly see Leg 1 voltage was 2-4 volts lower than leg 2. On other coach saw the same. We each only have 2 AC units so the lower voltage wasn't caused by 2 AC units running on our coaches.


One or two of your caravan should swap L1 and L2 in your main panel...balance out the group....
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Old 08-24-2016, 10:37 PM   #13
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One other point to consider...



I'm on a caravan with 10 coaches, most have 3 AC units with 2 of them on leg 1. It was a miserably hot day and those with 3 ACs had them all fired up. At least 2 of them have auto formers. In one park the voltage was pretty low and a coach with the auto former kept blowing the breaker at the pedestal. This appears to have been caused by the auto former trying to pull more than 50A. Of course, the breaker could have been on the weak side but the breaker was replaced and it did the same with the replacement. That person had to shut down one of the leg one ACs to stop that problem until later that evening when it was cooler and there was a lower draw on leg 1.



Perhaps that was an extreme situation but we were able to replicate the popping of the pedestal breaker when firing up AC #2 every time.



As a side note, for us being in the same loop without an auto former, I could clearly see Leg 1 voltage was 2-4 volts lower than leg 2. On other coach saw the same. We each only have 2 AC units so the lower voltage wasn't caused by 2 AC units running on our coaches.

It doesn't add up. If you run those 3 A/C units at low voltage, they will consume more amps at that lower voltage as well as accumulate some damage that may shorten their service life. In any event, 2 A/Cs, even 15k units will only pull 15-16 amps each max. Well below the 50 amps available. If you need the 3 A/Cs then turn some stuff off on that leg.
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:05 PM   #14
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It doesn't add up. If you run those 3 A/C units at low voltage, they will consume more amps at that lower voltage as well as accumulate some damage that may shorten their service life. In any event, 2 A/Cs, even 15k units will only pull 15-16 amps each max. Well below the 50 amps available. If you need the 3 A/Cs then turn some stuff off on that leg.
If 2 AC units on the same leg normally pull 30 amps at 120V I can see your point. However...consider this...

If the auto former is pulling additional amps at the pedestal to compensate for the low voltage it could be pulling maybe 35 amps. I don't know exactly how much but certainly it is more than 30 amps. Now toss in any other items also on leg 1 and there is a possibility that as they also need more voltage then the 50 amp limit of the pedestal breaker could be reached.

FWIW...I just talked with the guy and we kinda reviewed the event and now we think it was the addition of the Oasis operation that was the "final straw". He reminded me that after the breaker was replaced adding the Oasis to the AC operations caused the pedestal breaker to pop again.

It wasn't until later that evening when things cooled down he was able to run Oasis in the electric element mode.

I don't own an auto former but I'm surprised that it allowed for more than 50 amps on a leg. I would think that it would be self limiting to avoid this sort of thing. Maybe it does but failed to operate properly?
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