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Old 06-17-2008, 04:38 AM   #15
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Jack,

I think Frank's autoformer came on the scene shortly after I purchased my Hughes Autoformer.

If Frank's includes surge protection then the only downside I can see is that if either the autoformer section or the EMS section go out and need repair, you lose both systems until repair is complete.

If memory serves I paid about $400 for the 50 amp Autoformer and another $300 for the Progressive 50 amp EMS. I look at these purchases as one-time insurance premiums.

I have been in campgrounds where electrical spikes and/or surges have occured and other campgrounds where voltage dropped to 100 volts or lower.

If the voltage dropped too low or there were spikes and surges my EMS killed power or otherwise dealt with the spikes and surges. In low-voltage situations the Autoformer provided a 10% boost.

My point is that I have never suffered an electrical problem while others around me have. Neighbors have lost their microwaves, TVs air conditioners and more. I'm sure that their cost of repair or replacement was more than my one-time $700 purchase payment.
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:45 AM   #16
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Well said , I agree with what you said. Good insurance to have both.
Now which comes first at the pedestal the portable sure guard then the portable autoformer Hughes . that is how i have mine set up . is this the right way or should it be the other directions. Autoformer first then the surge guard?
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Old 08-01-2008, 07:05 AM   #17
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Regardless of what surge/electrical management system you use, it should be inline first. In this way your Autoformer will be protected from spikes, surges, open neutrals and low-low voltage just like your coach.

My power comes into a 50 amp Progressive industries EMS hardwired into my power compartment. The EMS then plugs into my Autoformer. The Autoformer then plugs into my switch.
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Old 08-01-2008, 09:41 AM   #18
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Digital Boy:
Regardless of what surge/electrical management system you use, it should be inline first. In this way your Autoformer will be protected from spikes, surges, open neutrals and low-low voltage just like your coach.

My power comes into a 50 amp Progressive industries EMS hardwired into my power compartment. The EMS then plugs into my Autoformer. The Autoformer then plugs into my switch. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Same here. I want the cheaper to ship and refurb SurgeGuard first and the high ticket heavy stuff (costs much more to ship) protected from the spikes, jolts etc.

If I have to I can bypass the low voltage feature on the SurgeGuard in a pinch but it will still be there taking the brunt of any hits before the AutoFormer.
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Old 08-01-2008, 09:51 AM   #19
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Well, I bought the portable SurgeGuard 50A unit at Tweety's and the "locking boot", but I didn't realize how big this whole thing is! It has to lay on the ground beside the E-post, 'cause it's too long to hang down, especially when combined with a 30A pigtail. Although this works fine during summer months, I don't think I want my connections out in a hard winter rain laying in the mud.... So I'm now thinking of cutting the power cord near the J-box and splicing it inline and then mount it on the cab wall.... Any concerns I'm not seeing? Any tips? Thanks
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Old 08-01-2008, 03:57 PM   #20
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I'm now thinking of cutting the power cord near the J-box and splicing it inline and then mount it on the cab wall </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I know some owners have installed the appropriate male & female plugs in the electric compartment so they can simply plug the portable version into the system -- or leave it out by putting the two installed plugs together.
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Old 08-01-2008, 07:06 PM   #21
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Personally, I'd install an autoformer before investing in a surge guard. My thinking is that some autoformers (i.e. Frank's) include surge protection, voltage boosting, and high-voltage/low-voltage cut-offs. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I thought that the Autoformer also came w/ surge protection, . So, why use a seperate surge protector? Robbie
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Old 08-01-2008, 07:24 PM   #22
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The original Hughes Autoformer is NOT a surge protector. It is a specialized step-up transformer that boosts voltage approximately 10% when activated.

There is another brand that advertises itself as both surge protector and Autoformer.
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Old 08-02-2008, 06:16 AM   #23
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Well, here's what it sez about the Hughs Autoformer, on the site. Spike AND surge protection. So, do you really need the Surge Protector? Robbie


50 Amp double phase, 12,000 Watts capacity
Fully automatic 10% boost when needed
Park power diagnostic light
Boost indicator lights for each line (2)
Spike and surge protection
Weatherproof
U.L. listed Autotransformer
Dimensions: 12"H x 8"W x 5"D
Weight: 40 Lbs.
Three-year limited warranty
Made in U.S.A.
MSRP $629.00
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Old 08-02-2008, 06:37 AM   #24
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The Autoformer is minimal protection (low joules).

It does not prevent damage from an open neutral. It does not protect from extreme low voltage.

If your Autoformer spike/surge protection gets damaged doing its job, then you have to send the whole unit out for repair.

With my EMS I can replace internal parts as needed. My Autoformer is protected too.

In 2006 I noticed that my Autoformer was only boosting one leg. Only one test light glowed during start-up. I simply unplugged the Autoformer and sent it out for repair. Meanwhile my EMS still protected my coach!!

Last week I ran the generator for excercise. First I unplugged from shore power. When I was done I plugged back in and watched my EMS readout. It showed 117v on leg one and 0v on leg two. The EMS refused to allow any power to the coach. The Autoformer can't do that.

Turned out that the breaker had gone bad on one leg.
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:12 AM   #25
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I looked at the autoformer, SurgeGuard and EMS. I went for the hard wired Progressive Industries EMS system as it had more to offer than the others for the money.
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:49 AM   #26
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The Autoformer is minimal protection (low joules).

It does not prevent damage from an open neutral. It does not protect from extreme low voltage.

If your Autoformer spike/surge protection gets damaged doing its job, then you have to send the whole unit out for repair.

With my EMS I can replace internal parts as needed. My Autoformer is protected too.

In 2006 I noticed that my Autoformer was only boosting one leg. Only one test light glowed during start-up. I simply unplugged the Autoformer and sent it out for repair. Meanwhile my EMS still protected my coach!!

Last week I ran the generator for excercise. First I unplugged from shore power. When I was done I plugged back in and watched my EMS readout. It showed 117v on leg one and 0v on leg two. The EMS refused to allow any power to the coach. The Autoformer can't do that.

Turned out that the breaker had gone bad on one leg. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


This is what I was looking for. Good info, Thanx. Robbie
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Old 08-02-2008, 06:25 PM   #27
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One final thought . . .

For many motorhome owners, especially diesel owners, the coach may be the most expensive purchase they ever make, next to a home.

When I bought them, I paid about $300 for the Progressive 50 amp hardwired EMS and aroud $500 for my 50 amp Hughes Autoformer.

I considered that $800 as a one-time insurance premium to protect all the electrical systems of my 2nd home 24/7. I've owned my coach (which is now my primary residence) for 5 years. So, It has cost me $160 per year (amortized) for the protection. If I own the coach for 10 years, my cost will have been $80 per year (22 cents per day).

That's my perspective.
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Old 08-02-2008, 08:08 PM   #28
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I agree with Lew. I did the same thing.
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