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Old 10-12-2012, 11:24 AM   #1
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"Heart" Inverter/Charger problem

We have a Heart Interface Freedom 458 (P/N 81-2022-12). We are currently on the road and staying in an RV park in Branson, MO. We are hooked up to 50 amp shore power. A couple days ago, we were using the convection oven and after about 30 minutes it suddenly stopped working. We waited a few minutes, then were able to continue the last few minutes of baking.

Since that time, we have been monitoring what transpires. All of the 12-volt lights will become dim, including the clock light on the microwave oven for a minute or two and then return to normal. While the 12-V lights were dim, I checked all of the outlets that are on the inverter and they showed 94 volts. All other outlets not on the inverter showed 120 volts.

I thought maybe my four 6-volt batteries were bad because they were six years old. So I replaced them with four new Energizer batteries. But, the problem of the dimming lights still occurs. I even removed the flat-screen TV from the inverter and using an extension cord, plugged it into an outlet that is not on the inverter. A couple times, when the dimming occurred, the first couple charge indicator lights were red.

I called the inverter manufacturer and closest dealers are in Houston, TX or somewhere in Tennessee. They were very happy to sell me a new inverter but were not able to tell me specifically what was causing this problem.

If anyone has had this problem I would appreciate hearing how it was resolved.

Thanks,
Larry
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:20 PM   #2
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TLI too little information!
A VOM is your friend. What is the voltage coming from the pedestal and if you are plugged in your Heart Interface Freedom should be maintaining the batteries, what is the battery voltage with the charger on vs off. http://www.rvtechlibrary.com/electrical/F458_owners.pdf here is the manual and page 5 tells you the algorithm on how it is supposed to share power for charging vs supplying 120 to the coach.
Did you change the battery type to AGM for the charging portion, that should not I would think affect the 120 operation.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:56 AM   #3
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Thanks, I really appreciate the info. We do have the manual, but was hoping someone that might had the same problem and find out what they had to do. I research but cannot find any problems like I was having. I will try on another thread.
Happy Trails
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:10 PM   #4
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Ragman,

You said you when on a 50Amp post - Correct?
This is strange.
The 458 has a transfer system and the microwave should have been running on shore power - Unless there was None or it was too low to use.

If that is the case, then the batteries were running the microwave and that explains a lot.

Check the post power.
Then use the control panel to put the 458 on line power.
Now, if the lights don't come back up, you do have problems in the Hart/Freedom/Xantrex.

This is what I did for a living before the economy got torpedoed.

Matt
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattC View Post
Ragman,

You said you when on a 50Amp post - Correct?
This is strange.
The 458 has a transfer system and the microwave should have been running on shore power - Unless there was None or it was too low to use.

If that is the case, then the batteries were running the microwave and that explains a lot.

Check the post power.
Then use the control panel to put the 458 on line power.
Now, if the lights don't come back up, you do have problems in the Hart/Freedom/Xantrex.

This is what I did for a living before the economy got torpedoed.

Matt
Mat I see your GMC motorhome in your title pix. Cool I was this close to buying one that needed a complete gut job for resto!!!!
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:18 AM   #6
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Thanks Matt, that was exactly what I was looking for. I am going to order a new 2000 watt inverter from heart.
The big question. Can I replace it myself? I am very mechanical minded and have just about every tool their is., But, electronics is very low on my totem pole.
Is there any adjustments that have to be made or can I just replaced wire for wire and make it work? I am pretty good at doing that. Thank you for your help, And Happy Trails.
Larry
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:28 AM   #7
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Larry,

It would be my guess that you are easily as capable of doing this as anybody you might pay to do the job. You can download all the documentation and read it before the replacement shows up. There are basically a very few connections and typically the physical mounting of the unit is the hard part. There are two big cables to the house bank, a normal sized power connection that should go to a breaker, the output that goes to what ever the inverter services and a stupid little network cable that goes to the control panel. That is it.....

I just reread your first posting. It occurred to me that 1/2 of the 50 amp power could be bad. 94V should have had the inverter taking over, but that is kind of a gray area. You should be able to shut the inverter down and it SHOULD go into by-pass mode. If it does and you still have 94V, it is not the inverter. If that side of the 50amp was dead, and the house bank was down, the inverter is supposed to shut down rather than send 94V AC along.

I have had good luck with Xantrex/Heart units. I have put installed and service more than a few in cruising boats. That is what I did when there was still an economy in this area.

Good Luck and keep us posted.

Matt
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:29 AM   #8
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As has already been said, your inverter has an internal transfer switch that puts it's outlets on shore power when available. Your batteries do not enter into the picture when the transfer switch engages. My guess is that either the inverter's transfer switch has failed, or has some internal corrosion. If it failed, you were actually running off battery (inverting) and probably ran the battery done (it also would not be charging in that case). If corroded inside, it would merely lower the voltage somewhat. Based on the limited info, I'm betting on outright failure.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:41 PM   #9
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Ragman.....Your issue is a tough one. If you end up replacing the inverter with the same/similar model, it will be an easy install. Obviously, everything has to be off, both 110 volt and 12 volt power. There are usually some DIP switches on the inverter near the wiring that need to be set in a certain direction. If you're replacing with the same, just position them the same as the old one.

I had to reread the post a couple of times to understand your issue. I think MattC gave you good info. Low voltage coming out of the inverter when you have normal voltage at other outlerts would have to point to an internal issue with the inverter.

It may sound silly, but a lot of these electronic devices are just liek a computer. Make sure you do what MattC said and completely disconnect all power sources from the inverter (turn off batteries and 110 power) wait a few minutes and then fire everything back up. Occasionally, you'll get everything to reset. I know my Magnum Inverter occasionally needs a reset to make the wall panel read correctly.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:37 PM   #10
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Thanks guys, you have been such a big help, and well appreciated. On my return to Dallas (home) we spent the night at another RV Park hooked up to 50 amps and still had the same problem. I think that eliminated the landline. Anyway,I have ordered a new Heart (same) and with your encouragement. I will replace it myself. I will let you know how it turns out. I have been a member of IRV2 for many years and have learned so much from it. I promote it all the time.
Happy Trails Larry
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:36 PM   #11
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There is a "powersharing" aspect to the Freedom 458. Maybe that is the problem.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:07 PM   #12
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Remember not all meters will read pure sine wave and modified sine wave with the
same value i.e. a meter that reads 120 volts pure sine wave can read somewhere
around 100 volts modified sine wave.
I wonder if you checked the breaker feeding the 458 with shore power?
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:31 PM   #13
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Hey guys, I'm still having problems. I ordered a new Freedom 458 and have replaced the old one. The same problem exists, but has actually gotten worse.

When plugged into shore power, there is no power going to the inverter's outlets, the microwave, etc., or to the battery charger; nor do any of the lights on the remote panel (inside the RV) light up. But, when I turn the inverter on, all these outlets, microwave, etc. are powered and the remote panel lights up (still on shore power).

So, I don't think that the inverter is causing the problem. I know there are 110-V going into the inverter's ac input.

On a couple occasions, (with the inverter off) after 20 or 30 minutes, I thought I heard a "click" and then everything in the MH had power and remote panel lit up. Everything had power until I unplugged from shore power and plugged back in again.

The same problem exists when I run the generator.
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:02 AM   #14
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Start at the transfer switch checking the wiring conductor connection condition. You will also want to check the transfer switch to be sure the contactor is closing the points for the source incoming to the distribution panel. If under heavy loads L1 and L2 are holding good voltage move to the distribution panel and inspect these conductor connections there. If these and the bus bars (bars that circuit breakers connect onto) are in good shape and all are tight, move down to the circuit breaker(s) that feed the inverter and do the same. Put the inverter circuits under a heavy load like running the microwave and check the voltage at these points to see if it drops down any. Good luck and let us know what you find and repaired to fix your problem.
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