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Old 04-25-2009, 11:34 AM   #1
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Converter/Inverter/2x 6 volt issue?

Hi all -

I've got an '04 Adventurer 35U that I'm working some bugs out of -

I just replaced the old battery-boiler converter with an Intellipower 9245 with pendant that I got off eBay for $90. At the same time, since 1 of the 24-series Interstates had a bad cell, I replaced both house batteries with 2x GC2 6 volt batteries from Sam's Club ($75 each).

Once the installation was complete, I plugged in the shore power, nothing sparked or blew up, and all of the 12V stuff (water pump, lights, furnace etc) worked fine. The pendant was showing a fast blink (several times a second), indicating it was in normal mode (13.6 volts) and the batteries were fully charged (it should show solid on for boost, flash slow for normal above 50% battery charge, fast when 100% charge). HOWEVER, the house batteries showed 12.4 volts, instead of the 13.7 they showed on shore power prior to replacing the 12V house batteries.

Since I was messing around with some other stuff, I turned on the TV and DVD player, and popped a movie in to make sure it all worked. A short time later, the DVD started to pixel out, skip, pause etc and eventually I lost the sound but the movie was playing ok. I took the DVD into the house and it played fine there, so it wasn't a DVD issue.

Last night, I thought I'd try another DVD in the coach, and see how the inverter and battery system worked. I checked the house batteries while plugged in; still 12.4V. I unplugged the coach, turned on the furnace (it was 40 degrees in the coach), turned on the inverter and the TV and DVD player, popped in a movie, and all was fine for about 10 minutes. The house batteries showed 11.6V with the load. Soon, the TV started to rainbow (apparently on all channels, not just the DVD). I turned the TV and then the DVD off/on - no change.

Still on just battery power, I turned off the furnace, shut down the inverter, turned it on again, and started the movie again. No rainbow, and all worked fine for about 10 minutes. Then the movie started to pause, pixelate etc, and soon after started playing fine but with no sound.

During all the testing while unplugged, the batteries didn't "seem" to be low. The voltage readout on the OnePlace system read 11.6V on up, lights didn't dim if the furnace cycled, and there was no low battery warning on the inverter. There seemed to be plenty of juice left.

I ran the furnace overnight, with the coach unplugged, to see how the batteries did. No problem. This morning the 2x 6 volt batteries read 11.9V unplugged from shore power with nothing other than phantom loads, the furnace still ran fine (I know what it sounds like on weak batteries), the inverter (which had been off overnight) didn't show low voltage when turned on.

I plugged the coach in again. The pendant immediately showed a fast blink, which according to the instructions found online indicates a 13.6 volt charge and a fully-charged battery. The OnePlace showed 12.4V on the house batteries.

SO - is my voltage indeed low, or would 2x 6 volts in series read differently on the OnePlace than 2x 12 volts in parallel? I made no other wiring changes other than parallel to series on the house batteries. It's possible that the low voltage is an issue for the inverter, messing up the TV/DVD. It seems unlikely that the Intellipower converter/charger is at fault, since the TV/DVD messed up when the batteries were first installed, and I have the TV/DVD problem when unplugged also, BUT the Intellipower indicates it thinks the 6 volt batteries are at full charge even after running the furnace all night.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

- Clay
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:07 PM   #2
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HI THERE
You did a lot of good works and very knowledgeable. Let see what i can do. First of all, i do my own electrical installation in my rig. You should get 12.6/12.7V on a fully charge good battery and that's a law. Secondly a good charger/inverter should have an output voltages per its spec usually 13.6/14.6V depends on its design. Try to eliminate other stuff during testing. You said 11.9v for your 2-6v batt, for me that's no good.Either your charger and/or your batt are no good. Nothing wrong with your load. Fix first your batt charge and everything will follow. Why are you only getting 12.4V on your 12v batt? You have a simple problem if you check it step by step.A fully charge 2-6v batt should read 12.6v unplugged.
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Old 04-25-2009, 07:19 PM   #3
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Re 6v 12v questions

I'm fond of saying "There are no six volt batteries in RV's"

Now, you know there are, and I know there are, (In fact I have a pair) but, truthfully there are not

Because 2 six volt batteries in series *ARE* one 12 volt battery

So never ask if a six volt in pair is different from a 12 (Save for size) cause.. They are not. You treat them EXACTLY as you would a same type 12 volt battery (IE: Flooded wet cell)

The only exceptions are

1: Cleaning: (Clean 4 terminals instead of 2)

2: Hefting (Installing, removing, carrying by hand) You can do 1/2 of your 12 volt battery at a time if you have a six volt pair.

Replacing.... Do it just like a 12 volt (Would you replace 1/2 of a 12 volt, or replace with say half interstate half excide?)
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Old 04-25-2009, 07:37 PM   #4
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As wa8yxm so cogently explained, your 2x6v in series should read exactly the same as one or more 12v's in parallel.

Your new converter is happy with its output but your One Place isn't seeing the same result, so something is miswired or has a poor connection. You might remove the coach wires from the batteries and test them independently with a voltmeter to see what the batteries themselves have to say about their charge. If they read 12.6 or more (as a pair in series), then the problem is that the hosue circuits are seeing a lower than actual voltage, which suggests a bad connection to the batteries. If the pair reads less than 12.6, then the charger isn't charging them, either becasue of bad wiring/connection or a defective charger.
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Old 04-25-2009, 07:49 PM   #5
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You all nailed it - thanks for the help!

I disconnected the batteries, and the pair did indeed show 11.6 volts. Testing them individually, they showed (surprise) 5.8 volts each. SO - they're not fully charged.

I went to the shop, got the old converter, and went to the coach to wire that back in and eliminate the new converter as the issue. When I pulled the new converter, I noticed that the negative wire was slightly loose in its hole, though I'd tightened the heck out of it on installation.

So I tightened it, reconnected everything, and voila! OnePlace meter now shows 13.7 volts, converter fan comes on, amp draw and battery voltage change with the pendant setting, and all's right with the world.

I'll throw in a movie later and make sure that the TV/DVD issues are fixed - but they probably are!

Thanks,

- Clay
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by CMcCardell View Post

So I tightened it, reconnected everything, and voila! OnePlace meter now shows 13.7 volts, converter fan comes on, amp draw and battery voltage change with the pendant setting, and all's right with the world.

- Clay

So you are telling us you had a screw loose

I often say we RVers often have a few screws loose... Usually that same type in fact (The kind you tighten with a #2 Square bit in most cases)
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:27 AM   #7
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Moderately interesting addendum -

A couple of days ago, I had the same problem AGAIN. I noticed the charging current was low, and the batteries were under 12V while plugged in.

I grabbed my Allen wrench again, and checked the same screw, which I'd tightened the everliving daylights out of 10 days before. The screw was loose again. Tightened it again. Problem solved again.

The coach hasn't even moved in the interim...

- Clay
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:47 PM   #8
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Moderately interesting addendum -

A couple of days ago, I had the same problem AGAIN. I noticed the charging current was low, and the batteries were under 12V while plugged in.

I grabbed my Allen wrench again, and checked the same screw, which I'd tightened the everliving daylights out of 10 days before. The screw was loose again. Tightened it again. Problem solved again.

The coach hasn't even moved in the interim...

- Clay
Back the screw out far enough to put some Blue Locktite on the threads and then tighten it.
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:23 PM   #9
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Already in the coach, along with the Allen wrench. Next time the voltage drops, that's the plan. Thanks!

- Clay
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:23 PM   #10
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Thanks

CMcCardell - thanks for your last post. I have been troubleshooting an inop converter on my 03 Pace Arrow, which suddenly stopped working. Doesn't charge my batteries. Also the fan, which previously seemed to turn on for a minute or two about every 7 -10 minutes, never turns on now.

I hadn't thought of checking for a loose converter cable (of course, it is next to impossible to reach them in the factory installation). First chance I get I will check those connections.

Thanks for sharing your discovery. Hopefully it's the problem I have with mine.

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Old 05-08-2009, 10:40 AM   #11
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Another thing I'm found of saying is that we RVers often have a few screws loose... I see you found one of 'em (Yup that's the kind I'm talking about)

RE: the DVD. Some inverters do not play well with radio type electronics and can cause problems with radios, televisions, and video/audio gear

Just so you know.. I do not think that's your problem (I think you found your problem) but just so you know.

Enjoy that Progressive Dynamics converter..... Though there is no single converter I will call "The very best" there are several that are contenders, that is one of them

(The reason there is no single one is that PD is best for one reason, My Xantrex prosine for another, and some others for yet another reason, thus "Best" is a good size group)
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:26 PM   #12
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Unfortunately, the DVD issues aren't fixed, either running on the inverter or plugged. Or with generator running, for that matter.

ALL DVD's seem to have the issue of jamming/seizing at some point - but each DVD has it happen consistently in the same areas. Haven't figured that one out yet.

I do have an extra DVD/HDD that I don't need and could plug in, but I haven't yet figured out how the factory DVD comes out.

- Clay
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