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Old 03-09-2020, 01:37 PM   #1
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ERA 170X Generator Auto-start Option

Hi-
I've been exploring adding an Onan EC-30 control to my generator so it will start automatically if there is demand from the AC unit, rather than having to manually start/stop. Has anyone else done this and if so can you share details on difficulty? I'm told by NoOutage.com website that besides tapping into existing panel, it will require will need a wire connection to the thermostat and to sense shore power. Thanks, Fred
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Old 03-09-2020, 02:55 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome.

Sorry I can't answer about adding an EC-30 to your ERA 170X but I have the EC-30 on my RV and have attempted to set it up on battery state of charge. I say "attempted" because I seem to never have the settings quite right.

If you do some searching I think you'll find the EC-30 is not the easiest device to setup. I know there are posts on www.irv2.com about setting up the shore power sensing function. It seems some RV Manufacturers install it incorrectly. I've never tested mine, and think I'll give it a try next week when the RV is home to load for a trip.

I suppose you've already seen the installation and operation instructions. But if not here's a link to the PDF.

https://www.cummins.com/sites/defaul...-operation.pdf

Here's a video of a guy that installed one in his RV:

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Old 03-27-2020, 06:52 PM   #3
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I installed an EC-30 in a Winnebago class C in 2009. I am an electrical engineer and was able to plan from the Winnebago wiring diagrams. There are 14 or 16 connections required to the EC-30 - if my memory is correct. It took me likely 10 hours planning which wires I needed to connect to and where they were in the wiring harnesses. If you are willing to spend the time, it is a great asset although getting to understand the programming is equally challenging.
The EC-30 will activate on low battery voltage, temperature defined by your thermostat or manually. It is possible to do in a Winnebago as every wire has a unique identifier printed every few inches. I would not have been able to do that otherwise. Think about how you would do it ...... Onan is reluctant to sell to end users dee to complexity and will not offer tech support on installation. Good luck
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Old 03-28-2020, 06:55 AM   #4
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Thanks all. This doesn’t sound like a project I’ll take on given the complexity. It’s a shame as it would be a very nice feature.
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Old 03-28-2020, 11:25 AM   #5
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Creativepart
The EC-30 requires a transformer connected to shore power to have the "sense" work properly. In my 09 Journey, one was installed by Winnebago although it may or may not be in newer coaches. Dont give up on the programming .... you can d/l a short instruction manual that has a reasonable set of instructions. We use it for the AC when we leave the coach in the summer for our beagle - the thermostat connection activates our basement heat pump/ AC. We also use it when boondocking overnight using it to detect low voltage for the residential fridge running on the inverter. It will start the genset and run the power for the battery charger until the battery bank reaches the voltage you specified is reached - typically 12.5 volts start and 14.5v +/- off. It is an extremely capable device and will do exactly what it is told to do ..... that is the challenge. Don't give up trying!!!
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