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Old 04-29-2011, 09:47 AM   #1
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Converter Problems

I think I have a bad converter/board and I was hoping someone could walk me through the troubleshooting.

I had low batteries condition this spring and recharged them a while ago. Yesterday while sanitizing and charging the up the fresh water system I used the water pump quite a bit and find that the batteries are again low. (It is raining and I cannot get accurate readings at the moment).

I have a WF-8955 55 Amp Power Center from 2004 http://www.wfcoelectronics.com/index...d=46&Itemid=77
with this board 8955MBA Main Board Assembly For 8955 ANP or PEC.

With 120VAC connected and the batteries isolated I have no low voltage at any point inside, no lights. (the LP detector is wired direct to batteries and is providing a low voltage chirp) The converter doesn't appear to have any low voltage output. the fan isn't spinning. The 40AMP fuses on the board at the battery input are good.

The first step in the manual asks me to test the VDC of the converter output at the battery end of the cables with them disconnected from the batteries. I will take a reading as soon as I get a window of no rain, June or July, maybe....

http://www.wfcoelectronics.com/docum...%20English.pdf


Looking back on our usage so far, we haven't used the 12V system that much, water was to city systems, shore line used everywhere and heat and lighting was almost all 120V. Could we really have been using the batteries exclusively for the last 6 months for about 25 days of limited 12V usage?

Any suggestions or advice?
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:14 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzards27 View Post
I have a WF-8955 55 Amp Power Center from 2004 WFCO - New world of power ideas - WF-8955 55 Amp Power Center
with this board 8955MBA Main Board Assembly For 8955 ANP or PEC.

The first step in the manual asks me to test the VDC of the converter output at the battery end of the cables with them disconnected from the batteries. I will take a reading as soon as I get a window of no rain, June or July, maybe....

http://www.wfcoelectronics.com/docum...%20English.pdf


Could we really have been using the batteries exclusively for the last 6 months for about 25 days of limited 12V usage?
Second question first: No. The failure if there is one has to be rescent. As stated in previous posts, internal resistance and Propane dectector parasite load will kill your batteries in 1 to 2 weeks of "no load" (ie you not "using" anything).

First Question second:
The trouble shooting guide is right on. ** my notes

If the converter output voltage at the battery reads in the 0.0 Vdc range,
or the battery is not charging, check for:
- an open inline fuse in the battery wire (if installed by OEM)

** Look for this within 18 inches of the battery. (It may be a red covered auto resetting current limiter - also look for loose or corroded terminals)

- an open wire between the converter and the RV battery

** test for 13 volts BEFORE and AFTER the red covered current limiter.

- loose ground connection

** Black wire to frame.

- improper torques

** Loose wires anywhere

If the converter fuses and AC voltage are good, but the converter output still reads zero volts, the converter is not functioning properly.
Contact Cheng USA, Inc. Tech Support at 1 (877) 294-8997.
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Old 04-29-2011, 11:37 AM   #3
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thanks lou, on the in-line fuse. if I am seeing power FROM the batteries at the converter terminals would that suggest an in-line fuse is not the problem? Would an in-line fuse kill the cabin's draw from the batteries?

I am not trusting my old volt meter at the moment, I might have damaged it earlier in this darn rain, so readings are going to have to wait a bit to take a reading at the battery end of the cables.

The lights do work (lum maybe 60%) with the batteries connected. but with the batteries disconnected I am getting a converter output reading (at the "TO batteries" terminals) of about 6 VDC with this questionable meter, but there is no low voltage activity (no lights), but the LP detector does chirp when i flip a light switch. I would think the converter would power at least one light... I have yet to see or hear the converter fan run.

I would think this 6VDC reading should be comparable to the reading I would get at the other end of the cables at the batteries...

Thanks so far, I'm heading out for a new meter and I'll check the "Step One" reading the next break in the rain. I have the batteries on a slow charge and will post a reading soon.
Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Second question first: No. The failure if there is one has to be recent. As stated in previous posts, internal resistance and Propane dectector parasite load will kill your batteries in 1 to 2 weeks of "no load" (ie you not "using" anything).
If this converter is due for replacement, I figure I can DYI. I'm wondering on replacement opinions. Do I go OEM like the one I found online or are there better 3 stage charger options that would either fit this case or nearby? I have a enclosure next door big enough at the water heater I could use.
Quote:

First Question second:
The trouble shooting guide is right on. ** my notes

If the converter output voltage at the battery reads in the 0.0 Vdc range,
or the battery is not charging, check for:
- an open inline fuse in the battery wire (if installed by OEM)

** Look for this within 18 inches of the battery. (It may be a red covered auto resetting current limiter - also look for loose or corroded terminals)

- an open wire between the converter and the RV battery

** test for 13 volts BEFORE and AFTER the red covered current limiter.

- loose ground connection

** Black wire to frame.

- improper torques

** Loose wires anywhere

If the converter fuses and AC voltage are good, but the converter output still reads zero volts, the converter is not functioning properly.
Contact Cheng USA, Inc. Tech Support at 1 (877) 294-8997.
__________________
2005 FR Lexington 210 6.0L 8500 miles
2007 2500 Silverado Ext. Cab, 6.5' bed 5.7L
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid
1963 Ford 861 5 speed with loader
1958 Ford 800 Select-O-Speed (parts tractor)
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:23 PM   #4
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Would an in-line fuse kill the cabin's draw from the batteries?

If that current limiter was bad, no voltage from the batteries would pass it.

Ok, I think I know what is wrong. Whether it can be repaired or not is another question.

I believe 1/2 of your full wave bridge rectifier is bad. This only takes 1 diode to fail "open" If I recall my college physics correctly, if 1/2 of the bridge is out you will only get half wave recitfication.

It will still be 12 volts out but only 1/2 the time (1 12 volt cycle every 1/30 of a second followed by 1/30th of a second of nothing). A DC meter in this case would read about 6 volts steady state due to the ripple removing "smoothing" capacitors.

Full Wave Rectifier and Bridge Rectifier
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:57 PM   #5
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there is no real way to test converters at home. Take it out and take it to a repair shop for proper testing.
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donn View Post
there is no real way to test converters at home. Take it out and take it to a repair shop for proper testing.
I think I mentioned that in an earlier post.
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:12 PM   #7
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LOL, I would have never imagined such a thing, you are such a great asset to all of us.

Ok, I got a meter and we do have 8.4 VDC at the terminal outlet and 8.3 or 8.4 VDC at the ends of the battery cable. all without the batteries connected.

still no noticable low voltage activity, but there is 8.4 VDC across one of the low voltage branch currents that i did test. If needed, the meter I have can test up to 10 ADC for a short duration.

Seeing I should have a reading in the 13.6VDC range we have a problem, but one half of 13.6 does not equal 8.4. does the diode issue you suggest still apply? if so, does this mean I replace the converter or is it more extensive?

if it is the converter, what are my options?

Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Would an in-line fuse kill the cabin's draw from the batteries?

If that current limiter was bad, no voltage from the batteries would pass it.

Ok, I think I know what is wrong. Whether it can be repaired or not is another question.

I believe 1/2 of your full wave bridge rectifier is bad. This only takes 1 diode to fail "open" If I recall my college physics correctly, if 1/2 of the bridge is out you will only get half wave recitfication.

It will still be 12 volts out but only 1/2 the time (1 12 volt cycle every 1/30 of a second followed by 1/30th of a second of nothing). A DC meter in this case would read about 6 volts steady state due to the ripple removing "smoothing" capacitors.

Full Wave Rectifier and Bridge Rectifier
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2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:41 PM   #8
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Just talked with John, Tech Support, at Cheng USA, Inc. He gave me an alternative method to test the converter. Remove the two 40A on board fuses and test across the Neg and VCC terminals on the 12VDC board. With no load we got a 13.67VDC reading so the converter itself is good. He then had me test with the 40A fuses back in. He said that if that reading was in the area of 8 to 10 VDC the converter board was bad. Apparently the board is bad. 8.4VDC again.

If I understand him correctly he says the converter is providing the proper voltage but not the proper amperage. He recommended a new converter from Best or American RV. others may not be warranted.

Any suggestions or advice?
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2005 FR Lexington 210 6.0L 8500 miles
2007 2500 Silverado Ext. Cab, 6.5' bed 5.7L
2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid
1963 Ford 861 5 speed with loader
1958 Ford 800 Select-O-Speed (parts tractor)
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzards27 View Post
Just talked with John, Tech Support, at Cheng USA, Inc. He gave me an alternative method to test the converter. Remove the two 40A on board fuses and test across the Neg and VCC terminals on the 12VDC board. With no load we got a 13.67VDC reading so the converter itself is good. He then had me test with the 40A fuses back in. He said that if that reading was in the area of 8 to 10 VDC the converter board was bad. Apparently the board is bad. 8.4VDC again.

If I understand him correctly he says the converter is providing the proper voltage but not the proper amperage. He recommended a new converter from Best or American RV. others may not be warranted.

Any suggestions or advice?
The Full wave bridge I mentioned is in the DC board. Thanks for the additional troubleshooting step. I made a note of it in my Camper 3 ring binder of "stuff I need to know while on the road." In my case, my luck is so bad I would not have internet access when something broke.

I have no experience with either company only WFCO.
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2008 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2010 Flagstaff 8526RLWS - 5th Wheel Pullrite Superglide 3300
(2009: 28) (2010: 74) (2011: 93) (2012: 31) (2013: 101) (2014: 30) (2015: ?)
I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but ticking everyone off is a piece of cake.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:53 PM   #10
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Lou, do you figure, based on what you hear, that I should just change out the converter? One last thought could a short in one of the low voltage circuits create the same type of voltage drop?

Right now I am considering letting the thing "trickle charge" the batteries like it must have been doing and just recharge them before and after each trip.

I could also get a small three stage charger and carry it with us on trip. I mean a 55amp charger would do the same thing for much less.

Thanks again
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