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Old 10-28-2013, 12:15 PM   #1
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Power Converter Smoke Show

Hi everyone. A bit of a story here, I will try to keep it concise. I have a 2008 Winnebago Aspect. While readying ourselves to hit the road I fired up the Onan. It ran for five minutes or so then we heard a series of loud TICKS, then had a billow of smoke from the converter vent. I pulled the panel with the vent from the front and noticed one of the capacitors had fried...the top had "domed" and split. Symptoms before this happened...an hour or so earlier, I had to replace the battery for the automotive portion of operations. I am not sure of the house batteries. They may not be holding a charge. I am not sure when or if they were ever replaced, since I bought this unit used. I have had the unit connected to shore power for weeks, but when I disconnect from shore, I hear the alarms "peep" inside the unit as if no power exists, the house batteries being dead maybe? While the Onan was running, the status panel indicated that the batteries were charged, yet it seemed as if they were dead because of the alarms "peeping" inside. I did engage the switch to link house and automotive battery for a boost to start the generator. None of the breakers had tripped either. Seeking your wisdom in this matter. Thanks! Larry
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Old 10-29-2013, 06:38 AM   #2
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Larry,

You released the magic white smoke! Now it will never work! :-)

Is it an Inverter/Converter/Charger or just a Converter Charger? Brand/Model?

Disconnect the house batteries first. Tie up or tape the positive cable ends. Using a multimeter what voltage is each battery at? Obtain/Install a new converter for it. Try on shore power first.. using a multimeter check the voltage at the + - connections that used to be connected to the house batteries. You should see something higher than 13Volts there. Unplug from shore and fire up the genset. Repeat the process with your multimeter. Report back. We may have to dig deeper depending upon your results. My first suspect is that one or both of the batteries are damaged in such a way that they have damaged the converter as well.. most converters are fuse protected, but I've seen many damaged in the same manner over the years.
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