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Old 01-05-2011, 03:01 PM   #1
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More inverter and TV questions

Speaking of inverters (in another thread). Sometimes my front TV will act like it isn't getting the right voltage and/or current. I've noticed it when the engine is running and the batteries are fully charged. I started to wonder if perhaps Winnebago skimped on the wiring. The inverter is pretty far away from the batteries, it needs pretty heavy gauge wiring.

I researched a bit today. The manufacturer recommends 8 gauge wire for runs under 15' and 6 for longer runs. Looking at the Winnebago wiring diagrams, I see 10 gauge wire, and what is probably a very run total run (power comes from the chassis battery, to a 2nd fuse under the dash, and then up to the inverter).

If I'm reading things right, it's definitely wired with too small of wire.

So the questions.

Has anyone looked at the stock wiring? Did I read the diagrams right?

What to do?
- Live with it, a future LCD TV will draw less power anyway? (Doubt it)
- Upsize the wiring?
- Move the inverter? Some are under the galley cabinets, much closer to the batteries. I'd have to run 120 up to the front instead of heavy gauge 12v.
- Buy a better/bigger inverter and install it correctly?

Oh I should mention it's the 300w Dimensions inverter. Earlier years were smaller, and later bigger. I wonder how the later, bigger, inverters are wired? Maybe those are the ones in the galley? I should also mention I have done the 4 6 volt swap, real happy with that.

Thanks in advance,
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Old 01-07-2011, 03:06 AM   #2
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Before changing anything check all battery wire connections on cables to inverter and battery ground cables to the frame of chassis make sure clean and tight and protect with DI-Electric grease or battery term- paint.
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:58 AM   #3
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Connections are clean and tight.

Something else I found out. There are 2 30 amp fuses (in series) for the inverter. It's the only load on the 2nd one, but shares the 1st with some other loads. There's NO WAY that the inverter can produce it's rated 300 watts continuous output on a 30 amp fuse. (I verified there are really 30 amp fuses in the motorhome, that's what the diagrams say, they are right.) A 30 amp fuse is probably appropriate for 10 gauge wiring. The manual for the inverter recommends a 100 amp or 150amp (for over 15ft) fuse!

I think I need to hook up a good voltmeter on the input and output with the TV on. I bet I've been starving the TV for years. (Just wish it would die, I'd love to HAVE to put in an LCD....)
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:23 AM   #4
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Generally... The front TV (If it is where it can be seen by the driver) Should not be getting ANY voltage if the engine is running.

If it's where the driver can not see it... Then it may be affected by Electrical interference from the engine or alternator whine may be making it through the inverter or through the antenna switch.
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:27 AM   #5
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It'll work in Neutral.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:03 PM   #6
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Mine works all the time.

I've not had problems to date with the 300 watt inverter powering all the electronics (tv, dish rcvr, dvd recorder, dtv converter) attached.

I noticed in my owners manual it calls for 10 awg for up to 20 foot run, and a 30amp fuse. However, when checking online their current manuals call for larger wire and fuse.

This must be a Winnebago spec, my owners manual is titled for Winnebago Industries, and model number is WIN-12/300T. The online manual is ADI-12/300.
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:21 PM   #7
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Hmmm, that makes me feel better. 10 gauge and 30 amp fuse in the owner's manual. I'd dig out my black bag, but I bet that's what's in mine. I looked at some generic sizing charts, 10 gauge is OK for 30 amps at around 20'. It's surprising 30 amps is enough, that's 360 watts on the input size, great efficiency if it outputs 300 watts.

I'll still put a DVOM on it soon.

And Winnebagos DO NOT have an ignition interlock. My kids would have none of that!

Thanks,
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:34 AM   #8
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10 awg is the proper size with a 30 amp fuse or breaker on the 120 volt side of life.. where a 1 volt drop is nothing to worry about.

but on the DC side I like to "Upgrade" the wire.. Fuse is OK, but upgrade the wire.. because at 12 volt 1.2 volts is 10% of your voltage

Where as at 120 it's only 1%
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:40 AM   #9
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Could be a modified sine wave inverter which will cause some tvs to have lines in screen and strange noises.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo16720 View Post
Could be a modified sine wave inverter which will cause some tvs to have lines in screen and strange noises.
That's what we're starting to notice. It's on all our TVs though...both the LCD's and the CRT version in the bedroom. This all started when we had our satellite dish mounted on the roof. Still trying to figure this one out.
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:24 AM   #11
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Ours doesn't do it all the time. No lines or anything like that. The screen will shrink a bit, and the sides will look a bit green or purple.

Gotta get some real data....
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:18 PM   #12
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Ours doesn't do it all the time. No lines or anything like that. The screen will shrink a bit, and the sides will look a bit green or purple.

Gotta get some real data....
They say if the screen shrinks it's low voltage and the lines are usually caused by the inverter sine wave. Try plugging into an extension from an outside source and see if they both go away. That should tell you. If it's running off the generator and it does it then the generator frequency isn't right. Should be as close to 60hz as possible. Which is what the power company supplies. Generator surging and not running the right speed causes wrong frequency.
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:21 PM   #13
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Could be a modified sine wave inverter which will cause some tvs to have lines in screen and strange noises.
They also say to twist the wires coming from the inverter because they can cause interference in tvs.
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