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Old 02-21-2015, 12:05 PM   #1
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Understanding my Inverter

My wife and I recently bought a 2009 Bay Star. It has both a converter/charger and an inverter and while I understand the basic concepts I'm having trouble understanding just what role my inverter plays.

We have a small microwave, two flat screen tv's along with a sound system and DVD player and the electric function of the refrigerator, none of which will run or show any sign of having power unless we are plugged into 30 amp or have the generator running. In fact the only thing it appears to do is power a couple of household style plug-ins that we can charge our laptops on. I've read about folks boon-docking and watching tv or using the microwave on battery power but so far not on our bus!

The inverter is a Magnum but I have not been able to determine what it's rating is. I can't find the info in the documentation or (so far) on the unit itself. Would some of these electric devices work if I replaced the two 12 volt deep cycle batteries with a couple of 220 ah golf cart types (which I intend to do anyway) or dos the inverter just not have the jam?
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:11 PM   #2
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Understanding my Inverter

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingtip View Post
My wife and I recently bought a 2009 Bay Star. It has both a converter/charger and an inverter and while I understand the basic concepts I'm having trouble understanding just what role my inverter plays.



We have a small microwave, two flat screen tv's along with a sound system and DVD player and the electric function of the refrigerator, none of which will run or show any sign of having power unless we are plugged into 30 amp or have the generator running. In fact the only thing it appears to do is power a couple of household style plug-ins that we can charge our laptops on. I've read about folks boon-docking and watching tv or using the microwave on battery power but so far not on our bus!



The inverter is a Magnum but I have not been able to determine what it's rating is. I can't find the info in the documentation or (so far) on the unit itself. Would some of these electric devices work if I replaced the two 12 volt deep cycle batteries with a couple of 220 ah golf cart types (which I intend to do anyway) or dos the inverter just not have the jam?

I doubt the microwave will run off your inverter. Your main TV and sound system are usually on the inverter circuits. You probably have an electric/ propane fridge. The propane section is used for boon docking.

The size and number of batteries will determine how long you can power battery powered circuits. The size of your inverter and what is wired to it determines what and how many thing can be powered by it.

Are you sure you have the inverter turned on?
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:25 PM   #3
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"wingtip".....I'll take a shot at this until someone with a similar coach comes along. I'm not familiar with what your Bay Star came with from the factory. We need to know if the Magnum (one of the best inverters) was added or was factory installed. Usually, when someone refers to a charger/converter and inverter, it sounds like the inverter was added later.

A typical OEM install of an inverter is a an all in one unit, charger/converter/inverter. So, we need to know what you have. An inverter won't run air conditioning units, so those are off the table. I never recommend running a microwave on inverter, even though many larger coaches are designed to do so. The microwave draws a LOT of energy and usually sounds funny when running on inverters.

Your refer, from your description, is a AC/propane model. They don't connect these types of refers to inverters. If there is no AC power, the refer simply switches to propane. The refers you hear about running on inverters are residential types.

What's left.....again, I don't know if your inverter was added later, but typically, most inverters will run many, if not all outlets, and the entertainment center. That's the major reason to have an inverter.....being able to watch TV after generator hours.

So, if yours was installed from the factory, you probably have an issue as to why it's not powering your entertainment center. If it was added on by a previous owner, often they only wire them to feed some outlets. If you do have a large Magnum inverter, it has two push button circuit breakers on the inverter itself. If one of those is tripped, it could cause you to lose half of what it's suppose to power, like the entertainment center.


Sooooo my entire post was a guess, not knowing what inverter you have or if it was originally installed with the coach. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
"wingtip".....I'll take a shot at this until someone with a similar coach comes along. I'm not familiar with what your Bay Star came with from the factory. We need to know if the Magnum (one of the best inverters) was added or was factory installed. Usually, when someone refers to a charger/converter and inverter, it sounds like the inverter was added later.

A typical OEM install of an inverter is a an all in one unit, charger/converter/inverter. So, we need to know what you have. An inverter won't run air conditioning units, so those are off the table. I never recommend running a microwave on inverter, even though many larger coaches are designed to do so. The microwave draws a LOT of energy and usually sounds funny when running on inverters.

Your refer, from your description, is a AC/propane model. They don't connect these types of refers to inverters. If there is no AC power, the refer simply switches to propane. The refers you hear about running on inverters are residential types.

What's left.....again, I don't know if your inverter was added later, but typically, most inverters will run many, if not all outlets, and the entertainment center. That's the major reason to have an inverter.....being able to watch TV after generator hours.

So, if yours was installed from the factory, you probably have an issue as to why it's not powering your entertainment center. If it was added on by a previous owner, often they only wire them to feed some outlets. If you do have a large Magnum inverter, it has two push button circuit breakers on the inverter itself. If one of those is tripped, it could cause you to lose half of what it's suppose to power, like the entertainment center.


Sooooo my entire post was a guess, not knowing what inverter you have or if it was originally installed with the coach. Hope this helps.

D D,

Your experience sounds like it comes from larger more expensive DP's. My previous gasser and my current "lower end" Winnie DP both have a separate, 1000w inverter that is only wired to a very small number of circuits. I'm making an assumption that a Bay Star gaser has a similar arrangement.
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:34 PM   #5
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All of your TV's and surround sound systems should be able to operate off your inverter. It will not run anything else. The fridge runs off the 12 volt for the brain aspect of it but it will only function off of 110/propane. We just leave that on the auto select setting and it recognizes when we plug into shore power and automatically changes over. The fridge uses very little propane so you can boondock for a long time without worry. We watch any of our three TV's off the inverter when boondocking. You might check the breaker on the actual inverter itself, it may have tripped if you plugged in something that pulls too much power. We did that once and I searched forever and thought I had just ruined the system somehow. I accidently found that breaker, reset it, and everything worked fine again. Also make sure you are actually turning the inverter on with the switch located on your control panel. You probably know this but just in case, we didn't know about it when we got ours. Good Luck
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:40 PM   #6
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Mike and Cha's response sounds just like the systems we've always had.
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:44 PM   #7
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Hi wingtip,
Your Bay Star came standard without an inverter. The original purchaser (dealer or customer) could have optioned a 600 WATT inverter from the factory. This would have been wired for the living or bedroom entertainment components. However, my coach came with the same size inverter and the inverter operates both living and bedroom entertainment components.

All that being said, it is anybody's guess what the previous owner(s) left from the factory or install aftermarket. Get a meter and determine which of the 120 AC outlets have power. This should be done with no external power (no shore or generator power). The batteries should be fully charged and the inverter is on. Gut feel says you will find outlets around the entertainment centers powered. If you have the factory optioned 600 WATT inverter, you can pull about 5 AMPS. There is a breaker on the inverter if for some reason you loose power to the outlets that are inverter powered. As you find outlets that are inverter powered, consider labeling them. I have a large "I" placed over the outlets that are inverter powered. This keeps other from connecting high wattage appliances to these outlets.

To answer the question about adding additional batteries, one might need to do some rewiring depending on the outlets you find now powered with the inverter and the size of the inverter currently in the coach. If the current inverter is a pure sine wave 2000 WATT inverter (16-17 AMPS), having 4 coach batteries, as a minimum, is a must. One would need to rewire the circuits so the larger inverter will provide power to the outlest you want. In any inverter environment, one needs to monitor what is being powered.
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:03 PM   #8
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WINGTIP Welcome to the forum.
Mike & Cha & Gary have your answers as a basic option when a new coach.
Here is a Brochure and Owners Guide for you, broucher would have the options.
Below in may signature are links to many others for your coach, QT's # 3 would have additional Bay Star info.
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Old 02-21-2015, 02:30 PM   #9
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"newmarpusher".....You're exactly right about my experience with the larger DP inverters. What has me questioning what he has is the type of inverter he said is in it (Magnum). The only small inverter that Magnum makes is the MM600 model. Everything else is sized the same as the larger coaches/DP's. Still curious what he has in there. Either way, it should be powering his entertainment center.
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Old 02-21-2015, 03:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
"newmarpusher".....You're exactly right about my experience with the larger DP inverters. What has me questioning what he has is the type of inverter he said is in it (Magnum). The only small inverter that Magnum makes is the MM600 model. Everything else is sized the same as the larger coaches/DP's. Still curious what he has in there. Either way, it should be powering his entertainment center.

Agreed. That's the one area all the smaller inverters I've had ARE hooked up to.
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Old 02-21-2015, 03:52 PM   #11
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There are many different inverter models, some are also charger/converters as well.

I you can find it and post the model we can do the research to tell you way more about yours.

ALL the inverters have one thing in common.. Switches,, How they work may vary and what they are called but I will describe the switches on mine

I have 4 (optionally 5) switches and 3 or 4 buttons (forget which can not see panel well from this angle)

ON the inverter is a master ON/OF/REMOTE switch, if it is OFF, nothing passes the inverter, NO battery charging, NO making 120 vac, NO passing 120vac (mine is an inline inverter/charger)

ON or REMOTE (Without a remote switch) it works as designed
The optional switch is a REMOTE on/off, duplicates the ON/OFF function of this master switch when the master is in the REMOTE position, otherwise REMOTE and ON are the same. I do not have one installed (or want one).

On the remote control/display panel I have 3 switches and some buttons.

Left most is the display/set up switch, Turns the display on/off and/or puts it in set up mode so I can program it.

The buttons are used to scroll through the various displays or to change program options,, I will not go into those.

The other two switches enable/disable the inverter and charger, When Disabled it is in standby WILL not invert, stays in standby even if shore power is lost... IF enabled, shore power holds it in standby, if shore power is lost the inverter takes over so fast the TV does not even blink.

Likewise the converter switch, Enabled means it charges batteries if shore power is present,, Mine is disabled, as I use a different converter to do that job.

The biggest difference between models is the programming features and display.. Many have only an LED display board and are programmed via dip switches, not push buttons. But that.. You should not need to worry about.
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:24 PM   #12
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So, I just got home (I wrote the original thread in an airport lounge) and got right to work. It looks to me like an aftermarket install, perhaps a good one but I don't have the experience to tell. Maybe the photos will help. Photo one is the basement installation with the converter on the left and Magnum inverter on the right. Photo two shows everything that I can see on the inverter - two switches, the top one seems more of a breaker the lower one can be selected between two positions. Last photo is the remote. Know you all know what I know....
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Old 02-22-2015, 12:26 AM   #13
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Yes....that's the Magnum MM612 inverter. It's a 600 watt MSW inverter. It gas plenty of power for your entertainment equipment. You're going to have to look to see if it's wired to your entertainment center and or has a circuit breaker installed that is tripped.

The remote allows you to turn it on and off from inside the coach. It also shows when it's on and if it's bypassing power.
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Old 02-22-2015, 01:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
Yes....that's the Magnum MM612 inverter. It's a 600 watt MSW inverter. It gas plenty of power for your entertainment equipment. You're going to have to look to see if it's wired to your entertainment center and or has a circuit breaker installed that is tripped.

The remote allows you to turn it on and off from inside the coach. It also shows when it's on and if it's bypassing power.
Don is correct it feeds two outlets usually one in cabinet top for the TV and other audio equipment and one down near passenger seat wall or foot wall area.
Never plug high current draw appliance in outlet will trip or blow fuse from inverter.
The unit with the fan is your converter to charge your battery systems with the charging controlled by the BIRD System in coach.
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