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Old 06-20-2017, 08:13 PM   #1
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So... I let some smoke out of my electronics...

Ever have one of those "but... but... I was so sure!" moments?

I had one tonight on my new to me 2004 Itasca 34D.

Turns out motorhome 30A plugs are wired like a big single phase extension cord, not a 208 dryer connection... but you all knew that. And now, so do I...

At first it seemed REALLY BAD. When I entered the coach after plugging in I immediately smelled that "you burned the electronics" smell, but I couldn't locate the source.

I thought I blew my EMS as that screen didn't indicate the right power source - it was saying 50A. Then after unplugging and starting the generator to see if that worked (it did) the screen on the EMS monitor was dead. After inspecting it and pulling the fuse on the EMS board to make sure it was good (it was) it miraculously came back to life - I think (see below).

After wiring the plug on the house correctly and plugging in again the EMS recognizes the 30A source properly and all seems well. For the most part.

At the initial event several breakers blew. I was able to reset all of them except the one that is marked "Refer/Conv". That one will not reset. I went into the compartment behind the fridge and unplugged it. Still would not reset. Then I unplugged the convection microwave. Still would not reset. (but maybe "Conv" means "converter" after looking at the schematics? )

Plugging the refer into and extension cord it apparently turned on (haven't had a chance to get it cold yet at all, never mind after this). The Convection did not light up when I plugged it in... I think it is toast.

Upon further inspection, electronics for the TV area appears to be where the smell of burnt electronics is. The TV turns on IF the inverter up there is on, but not if it is off. Don't yet know if this is normal or not. In any case I'm pretty sure something up in that cabinet is toast.

So, now I can't get this one breaker to turn on and I don't know why. On the schematic (http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/...0167473023.pdf) I see an output to the refrigerator and "converter". I honestly have no idea what the "converter" is or where it is located (apparently near outlet 3, but where is that?!).

So, if you happen to know what the converter is and where it might be located, I'd be grateful if you'd share that with me.

Thanks for listening to the new guy go on about his really dumb mistake... Hoping this isn't going to cost me as much money as I think it is...

Matt
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:37 PM   #2
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My 99 adventurer the tv only works with the inverter turned on , the over voltage probably fried the breaker replace it and see what happens
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:38 PM   #3
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So sorry about your troubles. The converter is the house battery charger and provider of 12V house power. It is located (at least on my 02 Itasca), under the refrigerator (remove the drawer), which is why the same breaker powers the fridge and the converter. (BTW, a CONVERTER, converts 120 VAC to 12VDC ~ . An INVERTER delivers 120 VAC from 12VDC battery power.)

Hope this helps, and good luck.
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:43 PM   #4
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Ok, I found the converter. It is under the oven in my unit. Unplugging it allowed the breaker to stay on so I think the converter is toast.
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:55 PM   #5
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If your converter is truly toast, consider not replacing it with an identical unit, but an upgraded one. I don't know what brand yours is, but the ones the manufacturers buy to install in their RVs are the cheapest they can get. There are much better ones out there in the aftermarket, and for only a VERY-slight cost differential.

If you decide to do that, ask away, here!

Pop
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpringerPop View Post
If your converter is truly toast, consider not replacing it with an identical unit, but an upgraded one. I don't know what brand yours is, but the ones the manufacturers buy to install in their RVs are the cheapest they can get. There are much better ones out there in the aftermarket, and for only a VERY-slight cost differential.

If you decide to do that, ask away, here!

Pop
since that 7445 unit is no longer made, I can't put an identical one in. I found a PowerMax PM4 45A unit on Amazon for $109. it does seem smarter than the original with "4 stage charging". And it is a little smaller.

Does anyone have a suggestion for another brand? Type?

I will bring the dead one into work tomorrow and see if my electrical Engineer can fix it (because that's a good use of his time, right? LOL)

Thanks,
Matt
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Old 06-20-2017, 10:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt View Post
Does anyone have a suggestion for another brand? Type?
Progressive Dynamics makes a VERY good line of converters, though in a higher price range.

Quote:
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I will bring the dead one into work tomorrow and see if my electrical Engineer can fix it (because that's a good use of his time, right? LOL)
Unless the input transformer is fried, if he's worth his salt, it'll be fixed. Power supplies aren't rocket science.

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Old 06-21-2017, 04:23 AM   #8
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cobalt-

Bummer!

Before you install anything else, buy and install a Progressive Industries "EMS." In my order of preference, choose one of these three models:

For a 30A coach
EMS-HW30C
EMS-LCHW30
EMS-PT-30X

For a 50A coach
EMS-HW50C
EMS-LCHW50
EMS-PT-50X

This would have protected your coach from the mistake you made.

And there are RV parks, friend's houses, etc., out there in the world ready to make the same mistake for you.

The PI "surge protector" models do not provide the same level of protection as their EMS models. That's why they cost less. Don't be tempted to buy one instead of an EMS.
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Old 06-21-2017, 06:48 AM   #9
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The advice in post #7 AND post #8, is spot-on. The Progressive Dynamics converters are the best, and the P.I. EMS will protect your coach electronics from not only power surges, too high or too low line voltage that can occur in some poorly wired campgrounds, and from the same kinds of damage you have just seen, when the CG shorepower has a loose or open neutral (on a 50A shorepower connection). That will put 240V on you 120 volt systems, and once again, the secret smoke escapes.
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Old 06-21-2017, 07:37 PM   #10
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Thank you for the tips folks!

The converter has a couple of blown input caps at the least.

I'll be googling your suggestions. I need to wrap my head around what exactly this EMS unit does. I assume if I change the EMS unit in the load center I need to also change the wall mounted monitor unit?

I was surprised to go into the coach tonight and find the batteries full charged despite having removed the converter. I thought it was there partly to charge the batteries? So where is this magic electricity coming from?

I printed the entire schematic book, so I'll be spending some quality time with it until I understand how everything works.

All in all, I'm feeling like I got off easy. And the exercise has caused me to learn a lot about the coach.

Now, I just want to get out and go camping!
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Old 06-22-2017, 07:21 AM   #11
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cobalt-

The "EMS" that's in your coach is not the same as the "EMS" that Progressive Industries sells.

Your coach's "EMS" is a way of shedding loads to match available incoming power.

The PI "EMS" is a surge protector PLUS a system to protect from under-voltage, over-voltage and mis-wire conditions. I've taken to calling them "power protection systems," but that's not what everyone else calls them.

You will add a PI "EMS" to your coach, and not remove the existing "EMS."
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Old 06-22-2017, 07:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
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cobalt-

The "EMS" that's in your coach is not the same as the "EMS" that Progressive Industries sells.

Your coach's "EMS" is a way of shedding loads to match available incoming power.

The PI "EMS" is a surge protector PLUS a system to protect from under-voltage, over-voltage and mis-wire conditions. I've taken to calling them "power protection systems," but that's not what everyone else calls them.

You will add a PI "EMS" to your coach, and not remove the existing "EMS."


Ok, so I'd add it between the auto transfer switch and the load center?
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Old 06-22-2017, 08:32 AM   #13
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Ok, so I'd add it between the auto transfer switch and the load center?
Well, that's up to you.

PI recommends putting it at the end of the shore cord, upstream of the transfer switch, so it protects the switch. They go on to say that the generator is supposed to not go weird and put out faulty 120V. Some do, and have.

If the PI "power protection system" is downstream of the transfer switch, it protects against both shore and generator power weirdness- but the transfer switch is left unprotected.

So, it's your choice. Sometimes it comes down to where it can be physically placed. If I had to guess, most folks install theirs ahead of the transfer switch.
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Old 06-22-2017, 01:39 PM   #14
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Great discussion guys. I've been looking at both the EMS-HW50C and EMS-LCHW50. They seem pretty comparable with one having a remote display and the other having a built in display. Does the display just show fault codes or does it show input volts as well? It seems from reading the description that the display will read line voltage, current, freq, errors etc. Can anyone confirm the significant differences between the two units mentioned above?

I haven't looked close enough to make a determination but I wonder how difficult it is to get the phone wire into the area where my information center currently is. Like most older gas model Winnebago products my info center is located about mid cabin on a wall close to the shower/bathroom. I should be able to snake the wire up into that area without a whole lot of trouble.

I know I need to break down and get one of these. If I'm going to spend +$300 I might as well get the one that fits my needs best.
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