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Old 02-16-2014, 03:51 PM   #1
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Dimensions 2000 Watt inverter, no battery charging, need help ASAP!

Gents,
Here's the history. We purchased this rig, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330 CAT, almost 3 years ago. It has the 7.5QD and, a Dimensions 2000 watt Quasi-sine wave inverter/charger. The inverter/charger has been working flawlessly, every minute we've needed it and even when not, every day since we bought this rig. It has supplied A/C voltage every time that we've called for it. It has charged the house batteries, on a constant basis, when plugged in, without issue.

The 7.5QD gen, sometime before 105 hours, started having issues back a while ago. The issues were,
1. No delay for cold start cranking, it would crank and crank and crank in a cold start situation and then, finally start and puke out a ton of white smoke and then finally settle down and run normal.

2. Sometime either before we purchased the rig, or shortly after, one of the magnets blew apart on the rotor and disintegrated all over the inside of that generator housing. But, the gen still kept putting out, 110VAC.

3. Then, I developed the infamous code "33" which, according to MY manual, was an "Over heat" condition. Well, long story short, it was the infamous "temp sensor" that was the problem of not only the code 33 but, also the cold start issues.

Well, as many of you read my thread on the tear down and repair of those generator issues, you saw what I had to do to bring things up to par.

Well, when that magnet blew apart, it damaged the stator, but, as stated, it was still putting out 110VAC. So, I ran it for all this time. But, it has always ran at a higher RPM than any other 7.5QD that I've come in contact with. So, I called a local Onan repair/service center here in the San Diego area, called "Quality RV" in El Cajon CA, and talked with a gent there who was pretty knowledgeable about these things.

I told him of the damage to the stator and, that I had broken wires in the windings. He said that was my problem. The gen is running at a higher RPM to compensate for broken wires. So, I recently purchased a brand new stator, to the tune of $934.00, and installed it. All went well with the install.

I wanted you all to know the history so you could help with a logical answer to my issue. Here's the issue. When I started the gen with the new stator in it. It started fine and, within say, oh about 10 seconds of startup, it ran to a high RPM and then, settled down to idle. I disconnected the shore power and observed my voltage meter (digital) that I have plugged into an outlet, next to a couch, that I can see every time I walk into the coach. It was right at 118VAC. I'm thinking, COOL! It's working at planned.

But, here's the problem, the Dimensions 2000 watt inverter/charger is no longer charging the house batteries. I shut down the generator and, as usual, the transfer switch switched over to shore power. But, the Inverter/charger is still not charging the batteries. As stated, that Inverter/Charger has always worked flawlessly in all phases of both A/C and charging the battery. Now, no battery charging, right after start up of the gen with the new stator.

I'm getting 110VAC to the Inverter at the appropriate check points. I'm getting 12VDC to the appropriate check points. If I call for the inverter so supply 110VAC, it does so without issue. The inverter is not kept in the "On" position except when I call for 110VAC. Some inverters need to be kept on all the time, supply all the appropriate outlets with the correct type voltage, i.e. "Pure sine wave" etc. This one doesn't need to be on. The battery charger is always on, even when the inverter is off, that is when it's plugged into shore power or, the gen is running.

So, to any of you that REALLY, REALLY know the Dimensions 2000 watt inverter charger, what could cause this issue? I have no blown fuses, no blown circuit breakers, the transfer switch (main one) seems to be working as it should when shunting between shore power and, inverter power to the outlets.

The only issue seems to be the charger is not providing a charge, to the house batteries now. I'm really hoping I don't need a new inverter because of a bad battery charger. What could have caused this? I've started the generator many, many times while on shore power and never, ever had any issues. The system is setup so that shore power is proprietary. The Inverter, if on, will stay in the "Stand-by" mode, until either I pull the shore power plug, or, shut down the generator, whichever is supplying the coach with 110VAC.

So, that's the history and story.
Scott
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Old 02-16-2014, 04:36 PM   #2
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Scott, disconnect the positive battery lead on the inverter/converter/charger unit that connects to your house batteries.. With the coach either plugged into shore or on gen, check voltage across the + and - posts at the inverter/converter/charger. You should see 13 something volts. If not, what voltage are you seeing? If no voltage and all the fuses are good on the unit, the unit's 12vdc supply side has failed. That is not uncommon.
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Old 02-16-2014, 04:44 PM   #3
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Also make sure that you have the charge draw setting set to something other than zero on the control panel. It goes in 5 amp settings from 0 to 25 amps. If set to zero, no charge is sent to the batteries.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:04 PM   #4
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Scott, did you check the battery fuse? Mine is an "ANL300" and is mounted close to the batteries.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:00 PM   #5
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Well Gang,
Here's the latest news. I pretty much knew what the outcome would be before I did the suggested tests but, I did them anyways. And, the outcome is, THE 12V OUT PUT, or CHARGER, IS DEAD All fuses, and circuit breakers associated with this Inverter/Charger are in good shape. I have 120VAC going into the inverter, and, I have 120VAC going out of the Inverter. I have no 12VDC going out, to the batteries.

That huge fuse, located very close to the house batteries is in great shape too. It's always the same with me. I break things on a holiday weekend and can't get any progress towards a repair 'till Tuesday. I'm figuring most places will be closed tomorrow.

This is so frustrating because like stated in my first post, the inverter/charger was operating flawlessly, and has been since we purchased the rig. But, I had to get my grubby hands into that generator to replace that goofed up/broken wire stator and, now I've got no battery charging. Over the years, I've had nothing but good to say about the Dimensions 2000 Watt Inverter/Charger and I still think it's a good unit.

In the owners manual for it, it has lots of trouble shooting for various situations, everything EXCEPT if there's a battery charger failure. It has "Battery Charger Trouble Shooting Procedure" but, it eludes to a possible message in the remote panel. There is NO message in the panel. All is says is, Chrgr-Cond-Mode 0 amp draw.

Normally that would mean that, the charging circuit in there would be in the "battery conditioning mode (equalizing) and, there would be around 14-25 amps or so and, the battery voltage would be around 14.5VDC. But, that's not the case right now. So folks, it appears I'm dead in the water.

Looks like I'll be looking for a new Inverter/charger. I'll give Dimensions a call before I break out the wallet and see what they have to say.
Scott
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:12 PM   #6
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Well, before you send it to the graveyard I suggest calling around to find anyplace fairly local that might be able to repair it. It will have to be somewhere close that you could deliver it because due to the weight, just shipping it back and forth will cost more than it's worth. Also, keep in mind, on many of these types of inverter/chargers there can be onboard fuses on the PC board. Might be worth a look.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94-Newmar View Post
Well, before you send it to the graveyard I suggest calling around to find anyplace fairly local that might be able to repair it. It will have to be somewhere close that you could deliver it because due to the weight, just shipping it back and forth will cost more than it's worth. Also, keep in mind, on many of these types of inverter/chargers there can be onboard fuses on the PC board. Might be worth a look.
94-Newmar,
Believe me Partner, I'm not ready to just "throw it away" just yet. I'm running against a tight time frame here. Lot's to do in this coming week and we're "supposed" to be leaving for three days to camp at our local "Qualcom" stadium here in San Diego for the annual "Big Three" swap meet on Fri, Sat and Sun. It's a seriously large swap meet that has anything and everything to do with hot rods, antiques, 50's, '60s and 70's cars and nostalgic stuff. It's a ton of fun. But, the thought of being locked in that stadium for three days without battery charging capability, is horrifying. '
So, I'm trying to keep my head on straight and approach this from multiple angles which, may include purchasing a seriously large battery charger to semi-hardwire into the coach 'till I get a "slow down" time to get this inverter/charger thing ironed out without jumping to conclusions.

There is one gent on here who has had his Dimensions inverter/charger rebuilt for around $500.00, plus or minus. I may try and find him and PM him for info. Thanks again for your advise, very much appreciated, as is from others too who have tried to help here. Great site.
Scott
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:39 AM   #8
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I hear ya. Ok well, here is another idea that may save you some $$$ and more importantly get you to your event on time.

Why not purchase a separate converter/charger? Say the Progressive Dynamics PD9260? They average around $150.00 and will happily supply your entire coach 12vdc and charge your house batteries - just as your inverter's charger did. You keep your inverter for now, and simply add this into the system. Keep the inverter installed until the 120vac side gives up the ghost then you can buy another converter/inverter/charger brand new. Yours is 10+ yrs old at this point anyhow. Besides, Should the inverter go south on you while on the road it's nowhere near as show-stopping as having the 12vdc side go bad. Just a thought ;-) Keep us posted and good luck.
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:25 AM   #9
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Scott, get a battery charger from Sears, ADAP, Walmart... that will handle the type of battery bank you are trying to charge. Disconnect the charger lead back to the inverter. Most of the off the shelf, better chargers, have the same charge control features as your inverter.

If you plan on keeping your RV for many years I suggest that you spring for the extra bucks and install a Magnum true sine wave inverter/charger. This inverter and company have a great reputation.

Happy trails,
Rick
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:51 AM   #10
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First. The inverter will NOT put out any power when disconnected from the batteries. It has to see over 10 volts to make electricity, pretty much like an alternator. If your batteries are completely dead it will NOT charge the batteries. You have to bring up the battery voltage in of two ways. You can put an external charger on them until the voltage comes up, or you can jump from the chassis batteries to the coach batteries, while on shore power, for a few minutes and "fool" the inverter into thinking it has 12 volts. At this point in should bulk charge your battery bank. Be sure the battery water level is adequate.
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:01 AM   #11
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First. The inverter will NOT put out any power when disconnected from the batteries. It has to see over 10 volts to make electricity, pretty much like an alternator. If your batteries are completely dead it will NOT charge the batteries....
I considered this too, however, the OP said he had 12 volts and house lights, just not charging.
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:43 AM   #12
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First. The inverter will NOT put out any power when disconnected from the batteries. It has to see over 10 volts to make electricity, pretty much like an alternator. If your batteries are completely dead it will NOT charge the batteries. You have to bring up the battery voltage in of two ways. You can put an external charger on them until the voltage comes up, or you can jump from the chassis batteries to the coach batteries, while on shore power, for a few minutes and "fool" the inverter into thinking it has 12 volts. At this point in should bulk charge your battery bank. Be sure the battery water level is adequate.
camper33,
I do have 12V at and where needed. I'm presently charging them at home with and external charger for now. And yes, I'd like to spring for a pure sign wave and, eventually will. I've got shot at a 7 month old Magnum ME2012, 2000 watt Modified Sign wave for some where in the neighborhood of about, $600. The gent pulled from his '2013 coach because he needed a true sign wave for medical equipment.

So, we'll see on that. And, yes, I thought of just buying a heavy duty battery charger and hard wiring it into the system, just like I did with the chassis batteries. I used a Napa 3-stage one for that and has been working flawless for a couple of years now. It keeps those chassis batteries right up to par 24/7.

So, I've got some options here. Thanks for all the help and suggestions as usual, a great bunch of guys on here.
Scott
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:45 PM   #13
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"There is NO message in the panel. All is says is, Chrgr-Cond-Mode 0 amp draw."


I thought when it says zero mode, it meant the charger is set to a zero charge output, i.e no charge to the batteries. Push the charger draw button once to get 5 amps, again gets you to 10 amp, etc. every push adds 5 amps up to a max of 25, then the next push sets it back to zero and you start over again if you want the charger to charge the batteries. This feature allows you not charge the batteries when AC amps are limited and need for other items.
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:20 PM   #14
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"There is NO message in the panel. All is says is, Chrgr-Cond-Mode 0 amp draw."


I thought when it says zero mode, it meant the charger is set to a zero charge output, i.e no charge to the batteries. Push the charger draw button once to get 5 amps, again gets you to 10 amp, etc. every push adds 5 amps up to a max of 25, then the next push sets it back to zero and you start over again if you want the charger to charge the batteries. This feature allows you not charge the batteries when AC amps are limited and need for other items.
CWHTRAINS,
No Sir, when that panel says "0" amp draw, it can mean two things. One, it can mean that, the charger is in the float mode and is fluctuating between 5A and 0A and is in the "0" amp draw, AT THE MINUTE. But, in that part of the charging operation, it will also say "Float mode".

Or two, it can also mean that, the charger is in a "Hung" mode. And, in accordance with a conversation with a Dimensions Tech this morning, when my Inverter/Charger says "Chrgr-Cond-Mode 0 amp draw" my charger is in a hung mode and will not pull out of it. He acknowledged that many of the Dimensions units of my era were outfitted with poor firmware and logic control systems. He stated that there's been monumental improvements since my unit was made.

Also, yes, you are correct when in the settings mode for amp draw for charging batteries, the unit can be set to the numbers you stated. However, mine is set to 25 amps and has been like that for years.

What he suggested was, take it out, wrap it up, and send it to them and, they will tear all the older logic and firmware components out and insert the latest of tech stuff in there. This will all be done for a mere, $550.00 which, includes shipping back to me.

But, in the mean time, I've since purchased a 7 month old, Magnum ME series, ME-2012 2000 watt Modified Sign Wave Inverter/Charger. I got it for a great price and, have ordered the remote for it and will pick it up tomorrow. I'll start tearing out the old Dimensions in a few minutes.
Thanks for all who've contributed to this thread. Very much appreciated.
Scott
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