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Old 03-06-2014, 08:23 AM   #1
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Strange electrical problem and cause: Voltage Converter

Recently on our 2007 Winnebago Voyage there were two apparent electrical problems that both started at the same time. When plugged into shore power, 15, 30, or 50 amps (made no difference) the power management display would flash on and off and display incorrect information. In addition the Norcold 1200 series refrigerator interior light would not come on and it would not consistently respond to the on/off switch. With the AC Shore power disconnected and the generator off the refrigerator worked normally on propane. The power management system of course is off without AC power.
I spent 35 years repairing cars and trucks for a living and electrical problems were my speciality, so this one had my interest peaked. As it turned out the original equipment Voltage Converter (the device that supplies DC Voltage to charge the Coach batteries and supply power to all of the 12 volt stuff) was the evil monster causing these problems. How you ask? The converter was indeed supplying 13.5 VDC to the Aux. (coach batteries), but it was also supplying 4 Volts AC! I know from my automotive background that excessive AC voltage can cause all kinds of random trouble codes and weird drivability problems to occur. In both alternators and RV power converters there are Diodes that are used to convert AC to DC. When one or more of these fail there is a potential for the above described to occur. Using a good quality DVOM (Digital Volt Ohm Meter), Fluke is a good one, and looking for AC Voltage on the DC output of a converter may be time well spent. Any reading more than 1 volt may indicate a problem.
I do not typically post here on iRV2 but I would hate to see someone be told that they need to spend hundreds of dollars for control boards and labor when a defective $100 Voltage Converter is the problem and so easy to check.
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Old 03-06-2014, 08:28 AM   #2
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Thanks for the post. It will certainly help others. Cliff
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:05 AM   #3
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I would guess you have a Parallax 7345 converter
They are know to have Capacitor issues

If you replace the unit I would be happy to pay shipping charges to get it here for spare parts
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:37 AM   #4
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Good info Thank you
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:45 AM   #5
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Great heads up. I wouldn't have thought of that.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:26 PM   #6
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From what I gather the parallax thingies are a dud. I'm guessing the only reason I've gotten by all these years is because I turn everything off and connect a regular battery charger.
Just installed a Iota DSL45 with the IQ thingy and it's amazing. Should'a done it years ago. Get a Progressive Dynamics or Iota converter, you'll be so glad you did.

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Old 03-14-2014, 05:36 PM   #7
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Hello Jim,

I have the same model:2007 Voyage. Have had some minor electrical problems that I solved with some trial & error. But not what you are describing. I will print your note so I can refer to it if the same symptoms occur to us. Thank you for the input.

Phil
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:39 PM   #8
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The Parallax converter does not play well with the Norcold refers either. If you keep getting a failure code on your Norcold, disconnect it from the converter and run it for a day or so with just a battery connected directly to the refer as a test.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:52 PM   #9
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Great post, THANK YOU for sharing. Please post often with your knowledge.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJBROWN View Post
From what I gather the parallax thingies are a dud. I'm guessing the only reason I've gotten by all these years is because I turn everything off and connect a regular battery charger.
Just installed a Iota DSL45 with the IQ thingy and it's amazing. Should'a done it years ago. Get a Progressive Dynamics or Iota converter, you'll be so glad you did.

I am not a fan of single stage converters. And many Parallex are just that. As someone said they are known for capacitor failure (Oh you can fix that very easily) ...

I am a fan of Progressive Dynamics charge wizard controlled units. That is what I have (Thank you Damon/Thor) and I spent a lot of time looking for a better one without success (There is no better that I can find).. The IOTA with IQ4 I give the #2 spot.. Basically it is every bit as good. save for the ability to override the automatic settings if you wish (I can do that with mine). I give both my best recommendation for most RVers.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:13 PM   #11
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I got the IOTA because it will charge at 14.8 which is what golf cart batts need. The PD is 14.4 which is what you need for 12V deep cycle and AGMs. So best to pick the one that match what you have.

The Iota runs a little more with the built in IQ-4 thingie for 4-phase batt charging. I should'a got one years ago. Man what a difference.

Northern AZ wind and sun had the best price I could find, they only carry the iotas.
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