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Old 03-24-2011, 06:50 PM   #1
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Fried converter / Magnatek 40 AMP

O.K. gurus I have a 1995 Winnebago Vectra gas that I'm not getting anything on the 12 volt side to work. Hooked to shore line get nothing to 12 volt side, generator nothing on 12 volt. The converter is the original unit, batteries 12.86, batteries disconnects working. This is a sealed unit with pop rivets no access to inside. I've looked for in line fuses but find none. Have 110 going into the converter but no reading on the DC side of unit. Starting the MH will get me 12 volts through the chassis battery and alternator. Is this a gone bad converter or am I'm missing something? Thanks.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:20 PM   #2
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If the batteries are at 12.86, something is charging them. Are you saying the batteries are ok, but you have no 12v power in the rig, whether from battery or converter? If so, I'd be looking for a blown fuse or broken wire in the main power circuits.

Is this a Magnetek 6340, either standalone or integrated with the 120vac power panel? That's a notoriously poor converter charger anyway, so replacing it with something more up to date and providing 3-stage charging is a good idea.
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:18 AM   #3
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Thanks Gary, I had the battery on charge had drawn down due to the fact the converter was not putting out. The Magnatek is a model 7240. I traced wires and ground and everything looks o.k.. I feel that because the converter is showing nothing on DC side that it is cooked. I took the converter out of MH and tested on stand alone and still nothing on DC side. I'm going to replace and hope for the best. Due you think increasing the amp output would be harmful to MH. Present converter is 40 amp 600 watt. Do you think 60 amp would challenge the wiring and appliances of the 95 MH? Again thanks for your reply and happy RV'ing.
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:17 AM   #4
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60A is a challenge only if the batteries actually need that much - rarely will they be dead enough to actually accept 60A charge rate.

And if you replace the converter, you can use your own wiring between the converter and the battery bank, so make it big enough to carry 60A.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:23 PM   #5
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My 02

The old Magnetek converters are notorious battery eaters - they produce a constant charge which significantly reduces the battery life. Suggest you upgrade to a modern/electronic multi stage converter - something like a Progressive Dynamics 9245 is easy install project that can be purchased for around $120. Easy Google.
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:40 PM   #6
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What I'd do on with that converter is short two leads together (Battery and 12 volt unflitered loads line) cut the 120vac leads to it and wire a Progressive Dynamics 9245 or 9260 or whatever size is proper for the batteries you have (The last 2 digits should be near 30 percent of your amp hour capacity) and call it toast.

Or you could go to Best Converters and get the kit that lets you rip the guts out of it and hook up a small, inexpensive circuit board along with the aforementioned 9245
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:44 PM   #7
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Thanks for the help everyone. I replaced with 9245 with pendant monitor and everything is back working normal. De-winterized today and ready for first trip of the season. Best of camping and a safe summer of traveling to all.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:34 AM   #8
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Interesting segment, glad your problem is resolved. I have the older 6345 converter as well. I had replaced it with a new drop-in replacement 7250 I think it was, and it lasted a year and then quit working. As you said its pop-riveted together and was not designed for anyone to take it apart. I did that anyway. found its design to be fully non-reparable normally by anyone but factory and doubt that they even do that. I put the old unit back in after a little investigation. It(the old one ) had two power leads, one which is higher voltage output about 14-14.4 volts and is the one that will cook the batts. The other one was only 12.8v loaded , so I modified mine to use just that lead on the newer distribution 12v panel. It works just fine as I am connected to shore power most of the time. DW does not like to dry-camp , and we only do that rarely. I only have one battery on the chassis, and can only go for one night anyway. This has been my system for about 2 years now and I have not cooked the batts at all. I check the water level about once every two months now, and so far so good. I am thinking about re-building the blown unit myself using some different electronics. Its a hobby of mine anyway.

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Old 04-07-2011, 09:13 AM   #9
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Thanks Dave interesting post. I may tinker with the old one and see what I come up with. Everything working great with new converter (knock on wood). Hindsight there was warning signs that the converter was going bad. I put pendant monitor inside bay door. I like that I can look and see status of operation and charge status of batteries. Have checked volts of battery at different times of use and the converter is right on with status of charging. Have a happy summer of safe traveling.
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