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Old 10-28-2012, 03:46 PM   #1
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Converter Voltage Ouput

Our motorhome has an old Magnetek 950 converter/charger. I am suspicious that it is on it's way out as the house batteries don't seem to charge fully when plugged in to shore power. The batteries are fairly old ( i think) but when I charge them on a separate charger, they seem to work fine.

I've disconnected the house batteries and checked the voltage across the leads that come from the converter to the batteries and get about 12.7 volts. I am thinking this is not sufficient, that in order to properly charge the batteries it should be upwards of about 13.8 volts? Is that correct?

I guess I am not certain whether the issue is the batteries, or the converter... or both... which would be just my luck it seems. I don't really want to upgrade to a new fancy 3 stage converter/charger unless I have to.

Thanks in advance for the help.

cheers
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Old 10-28-2012, 04:27 PM   #2
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I'd say 13.2v would be the minimum for a maintenance charge, and up to 14.2 to bring up low batteries.
I'm still using the original to the coach conv/charger 75a Zantec, with a manual high rate charge switch and thats the specs on it.
As a test you could hook to a known good newer battery and see what the con/chg puts out then.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:16 PM   #3
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12.7v is low, but check the input voltage to make sure it is adequate as well. A converter charger like the 950 needs a solid 120v source to perform well. If the voltage is down around 110 or less, output voltage may droop.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:24 PM   #4
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Check out the bottom of this site.

Charge Wizard
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:36 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. I will check to make sure we have a solid 120v source in the garage where the rv is connected to shore power.

One more question... I assumed it was the proper procedure to check the voltage with the battery disconnected, but reading Skip's suggestion to check with a (new) battery I wonder if I assumed improperly? Does the inverter have to have a battery connected in order to output the 14+ volts required to adequately charge a depleted battery?

I should also note that later this evening after my original post, I was messing with the converter and noticed a sort of sizzling sound coming from inside the converter itself. I should probably check for corroded connections perhaps?

It might just be that the 18 year old 950 has grown tired and needs replaced... just like the tires... and the radiator... and the water pump... and the alternator... and the serpentine belt... and the rear brakes... lol. What have I gotten myself in to? This is our first RV... so far we've had a lot of new experiences with it... too bad almost none of them have been from camping. Mostly just mechanical failures. It's all good though... I'm learning this old girl inside and out... when we do actually get to do some honest to goodness travel, I'm sure all the work I will have done will make me feel more confident in its reliability on the road. I think...

thanks again.

cheers
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:36 PM   #6
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Here is the manual from my converter charger. Page six has the troubleshooting stuff. It says with the battery disconnected the output should be 13.6 Volts plus or minus .2 Volts. Yours seems low.

BTW This 30 AMP Converter/Charger cost about $100
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File Type: pdf WFCO WF-8725 Users Manual.pdf (1.30 MB, 32 views)
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunner View Post
Check out the bottom of this site.

Charge Wizard
So it looks by what their numbers say, this converter is toast... assuming I can check voltage without a battery attached. Even on storage mode, the PD converter puts out more than 12.7 volts.

That is probably the converter I will end up buying if I need one.

-cheers
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:43 PM   #8
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Progressive Dynamics is the most highly rated converter on this site.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:04 PM   #9
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Do yourself and your batteries a favor and replace your converter with the Progressive Dynamics power unit.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:07 PM   #10
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I had a magnetek with a built in converter in my last trailer. It failed and would not charge the battery properly. I pulled out the converter and there as a large resistor (about 1 1/2 inches) that had bad solder joints(ie cold).

I re-soldered the resistor on both terminals and it never failed again.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:33 PM   #11
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Mine came with a Parallax 7455, 55A Converter/Charger, but I also hard wired a 3 stage battery charger to top off my Trojans.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:07 AM   #12
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Next question:

If I get one of the new Progressive Dynamic converters, should I go with the 45 amp or the 60 amp? The existing Magnetek is 50 amps... and we just have two small marine batteries that will be connected.

cheers
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:41 PM   #13
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First, with the old Magnetek converters you can not trust your voltmeter.

Second: I really do recommend you upgrade, the Progressive Dynamics charge wizard controled converters are as good as it gets.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:09 PM   #14
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When you change out your converter I would highly recommend you replace your marine batteries with two 6v golf cart batteries connected in series for more reserve capacity.

For whatever it's worth, we have a MagneTek model 7400 55amp converter/charger in our 2000 coach still working great with a charge voltage of 13.67v.

Best of luck with your project and let us know how it works out for you...
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