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Old 02-27-2024, 06:05 PM   #1
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AC soft start, cap or electronics?

I will add something to help the small generator out.

On other rigs I put the capacitor, but did not really notice much difference.

I am looking at the Coleman Mach Air Conditioner Soft Start Kit 1497-3601
or the EasyStart™ 364 Soft Starter.

Anyone know the difference? Easystart says it "learns" and I think the Coleman learns too but I am unclear. I do not want to pay a lot for what might just be a capacitor.
I am not sure how they work... is there a capacitor and also a delay circuit?

I have Coleman Mach 8 cub 47201r876 9200btu.
The gen is Ryobi 2200i. Gen will start and run the AC but is a labored start, and not healthy for either the gen or the AC unit.
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Old 02-27-2024, 10:58 PM   #2
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Neither is just a capacitor. They both monitor and control the compressor inrush current.

Either one is probably effective. I don't know where Coleman is getting theirs from.

Ray
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Old 02-28-2024, 06:52 AM   #3
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I'll stand by my Microair
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Old 02-28-2024, 09:09 AM   #4
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I'll stand by my Microair
I guess there will be few to no people who have had both but good to hear from those that one one or the other...

The micro air is for RVs. I have not seen RV ac under 9200 btu, but micro air says the X20 is for 9000btu or less and the X36 for over 9000btu. Mine being 9200, and from what others say they use, seems the X20 is right.. Anyone use X20 on a 9200?
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Old 02-28-2024, 09:09 AM   #5
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hard start with Capacitor

you can try one... it has a timer/relay that sends the power from the hard start capacitor to the compressor to assist the standard capacitor

lots of debate on which is better hard v soft start
https://www.google.com/search?client...d+v+soft+start
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Old 02-28-2024, 09:19 AM   #6
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I'll stand by my Microair
Same here. Not just a quality product but outstanding Customer Service.

When I changed my soft start from old dead coleman to replacement Furrion I received e-mailed instructions with pictures within 15 min's.

No hard start capacitor for me no matter how inexpensive. The Microair ramped starting makes A/C startup barely noticable.
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Old 02-28-2024, 09:42 AM   #7
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Same here. Not just a quality product but outstanding Customer Service.

When I changed my soft start from old dead coleman to replacement Furrion I received e-mailed instructions with pictures within 15 min's.

No hard start capacitor for me no matter how inexpensive. The Microair ramped starting makes A/C startup barely noticable.
Echoing ALL of this. Microair is a quality product with absolutely outstanding customer service. Their seemingly grassroots support for their product and their customers has been knock-you-down good. Very personable and hands on, there's no limit to the amount of goodwill I will extend to a company that exhibits this amount of quality demonstrated service and a premium product. Couple it with a Microair Easytouch thermostat for superior control over your RV's HVAC and comfort.

Softstart over capacitor hardstart every time. The way they need to be replaced, capacitors are practically disposable, especially as equipment ages. Softstart are the intelligent and pragmatic approach to the problem that capacitors are supposed to deal with.

I don't know where Airxcel/Coleman-Mach sourced their product, but it looks like an attempt to grab market-share for something they should have baked into their product from the start. Likewise, I see that they are starting to market ducting inserts. Both the easystart and the duct inserts are aftermarket solutions to problems created by a poor product design in the first place. Too little, too late, as far as I am concerned.

Witness that RV owners are spending premium aftermarket dollars for solutions to problems BAKED into their existing ownership experience. Do it right from the jump, Airxcel.

I voted with my dollars: Microair Easystart + EasyTouch, and have been exceedingly happy.

Just my .02, hope this helps.
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Old 02-28-2024, 09:42 AM   #8
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A "hard Start capacitor" works great if you are using utility power because they have for all purposes in this situation UNLIMITED amps/watts to send you.

Now if you're trying to run an AC unit off of a 2500watt generator a hard start capacitor won't work. You don't have that unlimited source of power to make it work.

Needs to be a unit like the micro air that gradually speeds up the AC unit.
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Old 02-28-2024, 10:11 AM   #9
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hard start worked on my boat?

can't see why you have to use shorepower,
the capacitor is the a power storage device....... and releases power when required to start the compressor.

once capacitor has been depleted the generator will recharge the capacitor again.
if capacitor requires constant re-charge and a LOT of watts/amps it's probably faulty.

-----------------------------------------------
how about VFD instead of softstart or hard starts

lowers starting amps requirements + ramps the speed of the compressor up/down
ideal for those people needing air conditioning while off grid
once cool the wattage will drop considerably to run the a/c

yes... some say it stresses the compressor too much
modern rotary compressor should be able to handle it ?
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Old 02-28-2024, 10:23 AM   #10
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Final word... consumers should tell the manufactures to start looking at Inverter controlled air conditions
that technology has been around for quite a while ...

Dometic Freshjet 7 is a rooftop slim , inverter drive available overseas in 240v
if you MUST use battery power for a/c may be a viable option

or start asking manufactures when is RV 110v models coming out
there is already window 110v models with inverter tech!

also available under cabinet air conditioners
save the roof for solar panels
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Old 02-28-2024, 10:29 AM   #11
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hard start worked on my boat?I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and it worked, what was the wattage of the generator you had on your boat?

can't see why you have to use shorepower,
the capacitor is the a power storage device....... and releases power when required to start the compressor.

once capacitor has been depleted the generator will recharge the capacitor again.
if capacitor requires constant re-charge and a LOT of watts/amps it's probably faulty.

-----------------------------------------------
how about VFD instead of softstart or hard startsA soft start is a type of VFD

lowers starting amps requirements + ramps the speed of the compressor up/down
ideal for those people needing air conditioning while off grid
once cool the wattage will drop considerably to run the a/c

yes... some say it stresses the compressor too much
modern rotary compressor should be able to handle it ?
See answers in red
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Old 02-28-2024, 11:04 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Aussieguy View Post
hard start with Capacitor

you can try one... it has a timer/relay that sends the power from the hard start capacitor to the compressor to assist the standard capacitor

lots of debate on which is better hard v soft start
https://www.google.com/search?client...d+v+soft+start
From what I understand for RV's your really want a soft start.

https://rvelectricity.substack.com/p...vs-softstartrv

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Old 02-28-2024, 02:00 PM   #13
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Very happy with my Microair Easy Start I installed a couple years ago. I can run my 13.5k btu coleman Mach VIII ultra low profile on one 2000w Champion cube inverter gen. Also much quieter compressor starts.
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Old 02-28-2024, 04:25 PM   #14
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See answers in red
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and it worked, what was the wattage of the generator you had on your boat?

Honda 2000i , was a small marine air conditioner only about 9000btu
still use the Honda on the trailer
NOT for air conditioner

If I want a/c in the trailer got a 3500w Champion
no soft/hard/vfd/inverter start required.

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Old 02-28-2024, 04:38 PM   #15
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Just FWIW. When the soft starters first became popular on RV's Micro-Aire was the main supplier. I asked about warranty issues regarding installing them and was told that it was not an issue.
Fast forward to last year. I again asked about warranty at the FR international rally and the Coleman rep said that if you had any soft starter other than their own, wired into the AC they would not honor their warranty. Primarily because they now offered the option.
As others have stated, the soft starters make it more likely that you can start the AC while on a generator. A hard start capacitor has been shown to be unable to keep the initial current draw required to start the AC low enough to keep the generator running. Number that is important is the LRA or locked rotor amperage which should be printed somewhere on the motor. That can be as high as 50 amps, even though it only lasts for a couple of miliseconds, but is long enough to cause a generator to drop power. A soft starter keeps the amperage under 20 amps. A hard start capacitor does nothing to handle the LRA requirement. A really good source of info on these is Mike Sokol who has some blog posts showing tests he made evaluating them.

One other thing, someone is selling a soft starter that you plug into your power pedestal or generator. These have also been reported to work and would avoid the warranty issue that a hard wired unit now carries.
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Old 02-28-2024, 05:41 PM   #16
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Just FWIW. When the soft starters first became popular on RV's Micro-Aire was the main supplier. I asked about warranty issues regarding installing them and was told that it was not an issue.
Fast forward to last year. I again asked about warranty at the FR international rally and the Coleman rep said that if you had any soft starter other than their own, wired into the AC they would not honor their warranty. Primarily because they now offered the option.
Good to be aware of. Coleman Mach units come with a 2 year warranty, extendable with a parts warranty out to an additional 3 years, so if you're out of warranty, it might be a moot issue.

If I had a warranty claim pending for my A/C, I'd be awfully tempted to un-install the Softstart unit simply to avoid this move on C/M's part.
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Old 02-28-2024, 07:26 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by SailorSam20500
I again asked about warranty at the FR international rally and the Coleman rep said that if you had any soft starter other than their own, wired into the AC they would not honor their warranty. Primarily because they now offered the option.
I would have taken his name and informed him that his statement is a violation of the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and that I was going to send a certified letter to their corporate Law Department about it. If he didn't back down I would have done it.

I also would have CC'd the FTC on the letter although they'd likely ignore it because there is no proof yet.

Ray
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Old 02-28-2024, 07:31 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by SailorSam20500
One other thing, someone is selling a soft starter that you plug into your power pedestal or generator. These have also been reported to work and would avoid the warranty issue that a hard wired unit now carries.
SoftStartRV offered that product as SoftStartUp. It was quietly removed from the market probably a year or more ago but no one seems to know why. Their web site says they discontinued the 30-amp product and are coming out with a 50-amp version but that page has been up for the same period of time.

https://softstartup.com/

There's another company, Active Controls LLC, still selling a similar product for a lot less, though: https://active-controls-llc.myshopif...-30-amp-acs30p

I wonder if there was a reselling arrangement or a patent dispute or something going on.


EDIT: Yup. Network RV filed at least one lawsuit against Active Controls LLC. (Network RV is the owner of SoftStartRV.)

https://trellis.law/doc/191928209/co...-networkrv-llc

The text is pretty small but the complaint says Network RV contracted with Active Controls LLC to build the SoftStartUp at, get this, $105 each.

I didn't read all of the docs but clearly something between the two companies went awry.

Ray
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Old 02-28-2024, 08:58 PM   #19
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SoftStartRV offered that product as SoftStartUp. It was quietly removed from the market probably a year or more ago but no one seems to know why. Their web site says they discontinued the 30-amp product and are coming out with a 50-amp version but that page has been up for the same period of time.

https://softstartup.com/

There's another company, Active Controls LLC, still selling a similar product for a lot less, though: https://active-controls-llc.myshopif...-30-amp-acs30p

I wonder if there was a reselling arrangement or a patent dispute or something going on.

Ray
I'm trying to figure out what magic they use on the power pole mounted unit that first switches on fan then after a short delay ramps up start of the compressor.

In a way the answer for me doesn't really matter as my MicroAir wont be going anywhere.
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Old 02-28-2024, 09:07 PM   #20
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Really?

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hard start with Capacitor

you can try one... it has a timer/relay that sends the power from the hard start capacitor to the compressor to assist the standard capacitor

lots of debate on which is better hard v soft start
https://www.google.com/search?client...d+v+soft+start
Really? That's news to me.

I thought that the most commonly used device added a time delay relay to the compressor start circuit so that the power source didn't see the locked rotor inrush current of the fans AND the compressor at the same time. The fans (interior and exterior) begin running immediately and get up to speed and then the compressor is allowed to start. (Not a long delay, probably 5-10 seconds is sufficient.)

Is it different in Tarpon Springs?
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