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Old 05-14-2012, 09:09 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 163
Whatís the difference? Progressive Industriesí EMS LCHW Model vs HW Model.

Although I don't represent Progressive Industries or sell their products anymore, I still get quite a few personal emails concerning the question in the subject line. So, here's the definitive answer:

While, the protection functions of both of Progressive Industries’ Electrical Management System with Smart Surge Hard Wired models are, indeed, identical, the LCHW Model has a few distinct differences from the original HW Model. These differences are applicable to both the 30 amp and 50 amp units.

The LCHW Model has an integrated display viewed through a window located in the lid of the unit. Because of the positioning of this window, a direct (straight) line-of-sight is necessary to clearly see all three characters of the display. Consequently, the LCHW Model is primarily intended to be mounted on the ‘back’ wall of a basement compartment so the window can be easily viewed. The actual display is mounted on an innovative four edge connector card. This allows for positioning of the display behind the window so that it can always be read in the ‘right-side-up’ position, regardless of how the unit is mounted - horizontally or vertically. [NOTE: A clear space of approximately 12 in X 6 in (horizontal or vertical) is recommended to properly mount either hardwired EMS. This will allow room for the cable entering and exiting the unit.].

The HW Model has its remote display attached to the main unit via a data cable (not a phone cable) with RJ11 connectors on both ends. This enables the installer to ‘bury’ the unit inside the RV (usually close to the automatic transfer switch or circuit breaker panel) and then locate the display anywhere within 14 feet of the installed unit (in the basement or inside the RV) for easy viewing. This remote display also has a built-in switch that can be used to by-pass the motherboard (brain) in the unit. Engaging this switch will enable the user to automatically close the internal power relay and allow 120 volt electricity into the RV. [This switch is only activated if the EMS will not allow power into the RV because of a detected fault and you have an emergency and absolutely must have shore power - even if it is bad (equipment damaging) power.]

NOTE: When you "by-pass" any hardwired EMS, the surge protection is still on-line, but, all the protective functions of the motherboard (high/low voltage, high/low frequency, open ground, open neutral, reverse polarity, and accidental 240 volts) are OFF-LINE!!! For this reason, I strongly recommend that a user always discuss the situation with Progressive Industries Technical Support, FIRST, before by-passing an EMS.

The LCHW Model is sold at a Lower Cost because it does not have a remote display. As a result, the LCHW’s standard by-pass methodology (no remote display means no by-pass switch) requires turning off the shore power supply, removing the six screws that hold down the unit’s lid, and locating a small, white tie-strap (zip-tie) holding down a thin, blue colored wire located on the input side of the unit. This tie-strap must be cut and the connector end of the blue wire attached to a blank connection spade located under the power cord’s white (neutral) wire attached to the input side of the power relay. The lid must be reattached before power is reapplied to the system. (The most common problem with connecting the internal by-pass this way is that, after being connected, many users forget to disconnect it once the fault is fixed - out of sight, out of mind.)

The new "Remote By-Pass Switch Kit" is only used on the LCHW Models and is easily installed at the time the EMS is installed - a one-time installation. (It can also be installed, later, if you already have a LCHW Model installed.) By using the installed by-pass switch, the EMS can be by-passed remotely (similar to the HW Model) for the reasons described above without going through the connections steps also described above. A reversing flip of the by-pass switch to “monitor” mode will reestablish the full protective functions of the EMS.

One last difference – the “Additional Remote Display Kit” can only be installed on the original HW Models. (The additional remote display kit was designed for RVers who wish to have the display information readily available to them, inside the RV, as well as in the basement near the power cord.)

So...based on all of this information, it becomes quite obvious that price point shouldn't be the only decision factor!!!

Hope this helps.

Dale Lee Sumner
RVIA/RVDA Master Certified RV Service Technician
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:41 PM   #2
Tony H's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Monroe WA USA
Posts: 88
Thanks Dale.

I have a PI surge protector but haven't installed it yet. Your comments were thus very timely and will help me locate it in a optimum location.
Tony & Margaret Howard
2001 Surf Side 3311 DSO
Monroe WA
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