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Old 05-25-2013, 10:53 PM   #21
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I had a Micro Lite by Flagstaff (traded it off this year) last year that had some pretty sensitive 30 amp fuses on the converter to charge batteries. If a fuse bows you can get 110v from shore and 12 v from batteries and you batteries are not charging I suggest checking these fuses there are usually 2 of them.
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:43 AM   #22
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First, Thanks to all for your replies. As the wife said, I've been wrapped up with work and unable to get back or to try some of your responses.

A bit more on what I know/don't know and what I've tried ...

I have checked every fuse I could find ... 10-12 fuses in the area under the coach by the battery, 10-12 inside the coach at the circuit breakers, and several in quite odd/hidden places including 2 fuses in the power bay by what I believe to be the 'converter' (these are 35-watt ones and ones I had to replace after a storm & why I added the surge protector).

I have 'reset' all circuit breakers (several times) ... they appear fine.

I have by-passed the surge protector ... note: I wired it in myself by cutting the main power line within the power bay, adding in plugs to the cut ends and putting plugs on both sides of the (premium/expensive) "hardwired" surge protector so basically I made the surge protector into a 4 foot mini-extension cord that exists in the power bay (I did this just so I could replace it easily if need be and I did not want it at the power pole like many sold pre-wired as mini-extension cords due to possible theft).

I know the 12 volt house lights are running off the house batteries (i.e.: they dim as the batteries drain).
I know the battery is not being charged (they drain over time, but not real fast so I am not sure that the 'inverter' is being used).

I know the (mechanical) 'clicking noise' I hear when I plug into the power post is coming from within the power bay (& is not from the surge protector).

I believe, I have identified the location of the 'cut over' switch that determines whether power should come from the generator or the post. It looks to be in the power bay on the right 'wall'. I believe that is where I am hearing the 'clicking noise' come from when I plug into the post.

I am not sure I have identified the location of the 110 to 12 volt 'converter' or the 12 to 110 volt 'inverter'. There is a box on the back wall of the power bay. It has a heat shield so I can't really see it so I don't know if it is the inverter or converter.

I haven't spotted a second 'box' but there is something kind of pipe shaped thing in the battery area but it doesn't look like a 'battery charger' or a typical 'inverter' like you'd see used in an car. It has several heavy duty 'battery' wires and 4-5 smaller wires connected to it (for monitoring, etc?).

I know I have 110 voltage throughout the coach.
I don't know if the 110 in the coach is direct from the post or from the 12 volt to 110 volt 'inverter', but considering the batteries seem to 'drain' pretty slowly (even though we watched TV a fair amount), I suspect the 110 is from the post & 12 volt from the batteries.

All the connections/wiring between the cut-over switch, the converter/inverter and the trunk-lines to the battery/fuse panels seem to be within 'boxes' or well wrapped cables, etc, and I can't find exposed point to test the circuits voltage. I didn't want to 'open' these up until I had a better idea of what to open & while camping (in the rain).

In some cases I don't know 'what' voltage to expect at what point (12 or 110) and/or whether connections to the batteries are incoming (to charge them) or out-going (to the house lights).

I did not run any tests using the generator while we are camping: a) it was raining most of the weekend so getting out/about playing with 110 power, etc, in wet conditions was not appealing to me, and b) I didn't think that even if the cut-over switch was the problem, I could run the generator much (due to gas usage, fumes in enclosed coach due to rain & noise to neighboring campers).

My biggest problems are:
1. Exactly 'where' are the converter and the inverter.
2. "How to test" the 'cut-over switch' and the 'converter' ...
a). Where can I hook up something to see if power is making it into and coming out of the switch/converter?
b) What voltage should I expect (& where?).
2. How can I tell if the 110 circuits are running off the post or off the 'inverter'.

I haven't had time to read over the .pdf documents that you folks were kind enough to post and/or to run some (generator based & other) tests recommended ... hope to this weekend but have to work (& entertain in-laws memorial day).

It's quite late, so heading to bed ... will not get a chance to look at this thread until tomorrow evening probably, so ...

Thanks in advance for any more ideas all y'all have!!!

And I will be back to check on what you have to say & report what I find out/have to fix.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:35 AM   #23
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You are doing a lot of work for nothing. As garbonz said, your converter is not working. That is all you need to be testing. Did you find the troubleshooting guide for that that Herk pointed you to?

Since you know your batteries are draining, there is no chance that those dead batteries are powering an inverter.

We know your batteries are not a dead short (since they discharge slowly) so even with your batteries totally out of the picture (eg, disconnected), the converter should be powering your lights if it was working, so it clearly isn't.

The converter should have 120v coming into it and ~13v coming out of it.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:42 AM   #24
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I am thinking you have a problem in your battery control center.

There is an isolator relay that may be malfunctioning and causing your problem.

These files may be of help to you.
Herk
Attached Files
File Type: pdf BiDirectional Isolator Relay Delay.pdf (105.0 KB, 40 views)
File Type: pdf GT370 Electrical Layout.PDF (1.65 MB, 43 views)
File Type: pdf Georgetown-Battery Connect Center.pdf (318.6 KB, 48 views)
File Type: pdf Battery Control Center Information -1.pdf (1.34 MB, 36 views)
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:35 AM   #25
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The .pdf's were quite informative & helpful ... thanks!!!

I got a couple of hours last Sunday to work on the problem and I have confirmed the surge protector is not the problem, the generator/shore power cut-over switch is not the problem, the house will run 110 without the batteries connected (i.e: direct feed from post bypassing the inverter), the house will run 110 without shore power (i.e.: the 12 to 110 volt inverter works) ... thus the problem has been narrowed down to the 110 to 12 volt 'converter' or the Bi-Directional Isolator Relay.

I haven't had time to fully explore these devices (i.e.: get meter readings from the converter and the BDIR device). In fact, I am not 100% sure I've located the BDIR. When I examine my battery compartment, I see (and hear) two devices that seem to be virtually identical ... one makes a fairly loud click when I connect the battery the other a softer click (if any at all as what I'm hearing may be the other device as they are very, very close to each other).

My gut tells me the converter is functional as its fan starts up and it hums briefly then cuts off, so I think the BDIR may be sending a false signal that the battery is fully charged when that is not the case.

I am going out of town so will not be able to work on it this weekend; hopefully I'll get time next week. I need this resolved by early July so may end up ordering both, replacing the BDIR and hopefully returning the new converter.

Meantime ... Thanks to all for all the info you've provided!
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:45 AM   #26
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Last year when we took a power hit, it took me forever to find the 40 amp fuses on the converter ... both were blown then, so I knew to check them (and where to look this time). At the time I didn't have any 40 amp fuses so I replaced the blown ones with 35 amp and we've run fine several trips since. They were well hidden as were 2 little 5 or 7 amp ones on top of what I think may be the Bi-Directional Isolator Relay(s) in the battery compartment (but not in the fuse box there). These little fuses were fine then & are now.
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:11 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckbdk View Post
When I examine my battery compartment, I see (and hear) two devices that seem to be virtually identical ... one makes a fairly loud click when I connect the battery the other a softer click (if any at all as what I'm hearing may be the other device as they are very, very close to each other).
Try using a long dowel or piece of metal clothes hangar and a Dixie Cup.

Put one end on the thing you want to listen to and the other in (or on) the bottom of the Dixie cup. Put your ear to the mouth of the cup and have someone activate the device.

This works for finding rattles too.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:10 PM   #28
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I have the same coach, and the converter is located in the compartment directly below the Iota Fuse/Breaker panel, immediately aft of the rear street-side tire. It is half-covered by a plastic shield, and gets it's AC from an OUTLET in the top of the compartment. It could have simply become unplugged!
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:48 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garbonz View Post
If he has 110 volts anywhere then it's not the surge protector. If he has 12 volts working but not maintaining charge then it's almost certainly the converter.

Find it and replace it with a PDI unit of appropriate size.

Simple
agreed
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:59 PM   #30
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Quote:
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agreed

That's one of those "round tuit " things for me. The neat thing is that there is a phone jack in the compartment, and I can plug a jumper in to it and put the the Charge Wizard on the dash, using the front phone jack.
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