converter problem

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by C Nash, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    The power converter on my 2002 HR has gone out 3 times. About every two years. It is a Inteli Power 9100 model#PD9155 55 amp. with charge wizard. It has always kept the batteries charged without water lose or very little. I do keep it hooked to shore power most of the time. Any thoughts on what may be causing the failures and where is the best place to buy? Will call Progressive dynamics Monday to see if they can give any clues.
     
  2. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: converter problem

    I have an Inteli Power in my trailer and most of our fifth wheels use them also. Never heard of one going out that often. Wish I could help more, but you do have something strange going on.
     
  3. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: converter problem

    Got in touch with Progressive Dynamics and they could offer no explanation as to why the converter is going out :( . Only thing they could say was a possible voltage spike. They only sell remanfactured units to the public and no longer offer the 55 amp new. Hmm, wonder why. The specs say that it has built in spike protection but mine must be asleep. Found good prices on ebay but think I will go with a new one this time. Anyone know anything about the surge protectors for rvs that plug into the shore supply.
     
  4. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: converter problem

    I've got one of those Hughes transformers, but have had no known incidents. I got it because we have had a couple of brown out conditions during the summer. That's the worst case for motors, so if a brown out happens my transformer will boost or cut off the power.

    Finding out exactly what went out in your converter would be the only real way of curing the problem.
     
  5. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: converter problem

    Hey Chelse, I use an Autoformer when the voltage is low, but use a portable gfci surge protector at the shore power. It will trip every once an while when you have a spike. They run about $90 for a 30 amp. If you want to spend more you can get one that protects against surges and blocks power when voltage falls below 102 volts. They cost about $250 to $350, but the problem with that type is that if you get in a Park that the power is low you just won't have power because it will be blocked all the time. That's when for $350 you can get the Autoformer (30amp) , more for 50 amp, that boosts power back up to 110 to 120 volts. I use the portable surge protector in front of my Autoformer just to make sure my Autoformer doesn't get sapped, even though it has a built -in surge protector. I also use on-board surge protectors on my TV and refrigerator. Never too much protection when on the road. You never know what kind of POWER the RV Park supplies, or mother nature is ready to throw at you. :laugh:
     
  6. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: converter problem

    um actually, surge protectors are not 'magic'. Every one I've seen says NOT to plug it into another surge protector. I don't know if there is a chance of damage if you do this, but at best it won't buy you anything.

    If you have a piece of equipment with 2 wires going into it, say a TV with a power cord and a cable coax, and one of those lines gets a surge on it, the surge is across the device and it can smoke. If both of the lines go up and down together, then there is no net change across the device and it doesn't care. The purpose of a surge suppressor is to tie all the wires going into a device to the same point. so there is never a differential across the device. The 'common point' needs to be ground, so that if you are touching the device when the surge occurs, you don't become a 'third wire'.

    So if you plug your TV into a surge suppressor and have the cable going in directly, you aren't protected. If you have the cable plugged into a DIFFERENT surge suppressor you still aren't protected unless they are designed to work together and are tied to a common ground point.

    Surge suppressors also say not to use them with extention cords, but sometimes in the real world you have to.
     
  7. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: converter problem

    Chelse
    Have you been connected to the same power source for all three? Might there be some problem that is coning from that power? With three of them, I tend to think that the power is the problem, not the converters. 

     I have worked with electronic equipment form more than 40 years. A modern surge protector uses a device that shorts any voltage above it's set point to the return, but it does not connect the leads together. If it did that, the device could never work since it takes a voltage difference across the appliance to move the current through it that makes it work. Most devices that are sold by the RV supply stores are actually power line monitors. (Surge Guard, Progressive, etc.) The not only provide suppression for a power surge but they also protect the RV from either over or under voltages, from improper wiring of the outlet or failure of some part of the power supply circuit. The cable to your TV that comes from the antenna has no power to it so unless the antenna is struck by lightning or something, there will be no surge from it. If the TV is connected to cable TV, there is an arc arrester in the connection box, as required by electrical codes. It could pass a lightning strike, if that were to happen I suppose. Since the voltage on a cable signal is in the micro-volt range that's about the only way to get a surge from it. A surge suppressor does the same thing for any item, whether all parts are plugged to the same one, or not.
     
  8. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: converter problem

    All three happend at different places Kirk. It went out in towensend Tn. this time and we were the only campers in the campground. There was no lighting or bad weather but it was cold. Did use an electric heater but don't think that would cause any problems. On the one under warranty Progressive Dynamics didn't even question or want to ck it. They just mailed me a replacement, rebuilt, and had me return the defected one when I received the new one. The 9155 is no longer in production so there may have been some problems with these units. I bought a new 9160 today to replace the 9160 and hoping it will last. Got my old one to play with. I am going into it and see if I can find the problem. They say they are non servicable but, I can remove rivits :)
     
  9. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: converter problem

    Kirk, your explanation is better than mine, in particular, the word 'tie' was completely misleading. The power cord is really 2 (or 3) wires and certainly a surge differance in potential across them is not only bad news, but the most common occurance and what most consumer surge protectors are designed to deal with.

    I had a class in radio a while back and they stressed that damage occurs when there is an unexpected potential differance across the radio (between the antenna and the power line), and insisted that 'all' surge suppression (or at least the power line and the antenna line) had to be done at one point in order to be fully effective. Perhaps this is more important with radios with tall antennas than with less lighting prone devices. Still, I note that the better entertainment center surge suppressors have provision for the cable/antenna input and the telephone input in the same surge device as the power input, so perhaps there is some risk in 'distributed' or 'partial' surge suppression.
     
  10. kotr

    kotr New Member

    Re: converter problem

    Maybe a simple problem such as over heating. Is the converter in a closed in space with no chance of cooling air? Just a thought.
     
  11. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: converter problem

    The converter saga continues :( . Drove 340 miles yesterday to pick up the NEW converter and when I got ready to install today one of the prongs for the charge wizard was missing on the converter :dead: Called Camping World and told them the problem and they said they had another and would replace it even though I had not taken out their warranty. Drove the 170 miles down there and they told me they didn't have one :eek: :angry: Told them I was put on hold when I called and the lady looked and told me they had another one. Was getting pretty hostile now. The manager came out and found one. Said they had three. Really they were pretty nice and it was not their problem but they took care of it. Installed the charge wizard while there to be sure. Will try to install again tomorrow.
    Kotr, the converter is installed with plenty of room and nothing to obstruct air flow. Checked the wire to chassis grd today and it was tight and good. Wires to battery are also insulated and routed well. Thanks for all the info.
     
  12. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: converter problem

    Follow up
    Converter is installed and working fine. Will invest in a surge protector. Any recomendations?
     
  13. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: converter problem

    Well, the 'top of the line' must be Surge Guard, with a price to match. This provides surge protection, miswiring indication and protection, and over/under voltage protection. It analyzes the power for about 2 minutes before it allows it to get to your RV, this takes some getting used to. The under voltage protection is to disconnect the power; a 'better' solution of this is the Autoformer.
     
  14. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    Re: converter problem

    John the Autoformer seems to be the way to go but, might have to go with a surge guard for now. The top of the line is expensive. Got around to drilling the rivits out of the old converter today and guess what? There is a 10 amp fuse sordered inside and it was blown :eek: . Guess something has to blow the fuse but so far it's working fine. Now I got two converters :laugh: and to top it off I see where Camping World has put theirs on sale for 179.00 and I payed them 229.00. They have a 2 week period that they will honor the sale price so will be calling them tomorrow.
     

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