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Old 01-12-2015, 06:00 PM   #1
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Charge Wizard

Ok, my unit is not "fresh off the factory line", but I do want the good stuff. The question here is about the Charge Wizard.

http://www.forestriverinc.com/brochu...ekerposter.pdf

Do I want one? Where would I put it? What would have to change on my coach to fit one? Do you want one?

Thoughts?
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Old 01-12-2015, 06:23 PM   #2
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This is the one I use. I didn't know about the charge Wizard or I might have bought it first (x2 the price). Mine takes up very little space when stowed (kept it under the seat of the truck) . Used only during winter storage (I don't have to remove the battery). Don't have to change anything and works great!
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Old 01-12-2015, 06:38 PM   #3
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Charge wizard

I could be wrong, but I think according to the sales brochure you show, the charge wizard comes as standard equipment on the Sunseeker. Maybe BClemens can confirm that. Not sure.
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Old 01-13-2015, 03:04 PM   #4
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Yes, the charge Wizard is nothing more than the intelligent circuit installed on the Progressive Dynamics convertor.

Hoglou, all you would need to do is replace your WFCO convertor with a Progressive Dynamics one. We do not offer the "pendant" that shows a read out of the status...but I do think you can get one of those after the fact. It just plugs in.

Convertor: PD9200 Series RV Power Converters

Pendant: Converter Status Remote Pendant
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Old 01-13-2015, 03:23 PM   #5
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The charge wizard let's you manually select the rate of charge.
And shows what the current charge rate is by a flashing led.
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:13 PM   #6
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Anybody else want one or am I just overwhelmed by a glossy pdf? I wonder how (signifcantly) better this is over the WFCO.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoglou View Post
Anybody else want one or am I just overwhelmed by a glossy pdf? I wonder how (signifcantly) better this is over the WFCO.
Hands over fists better then a wfco.
I recommend progressive dynamics 100 %
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Old 01-13-2015, 10:50 PM   #8
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My factory converter (WFCO) died at around 2 years old. We have a third party extended warrenty on the coach, so the dealer replaced it with the Progressive Dynamics 9200 60 amp model. The Progressive Dynamics brand is far better built, it doesn't look like a cheap computer power supply like the factory WFCO brand. With the factory unit you could hear the house battery bubbling as it put out a steady voltage, needed or not. You couldn't keep it plugged in for more than 2 weeks straight without having to add water to the batteries. Now with the Progressive converter I plug the coach in when return and unplug it when we roll out. I can truly plug it in now and forget about it.

Very nice to see Forest River making these factory standard.

Oh, forgot to mention when boninedocking its suppose to charge the battery upto 90% capacity a lot faster with the "bulk charge" mode. All fully automatic.
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:07 PM   #9
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Hoglou...It is way better to have a multistage charger (i.e. charge wizard) in your converter rather than a traditional one. Even better is the EQ cycle which can extend battery life if your unit sits plugged in a lot.
If you boondock a lot it is even more important to battery life cycles and retention of capacity. You'll find yourself charging to 100% more quickly and watering far less.
Progressive Dynamics has their charge wizard built into their 9200 series... and available as a plug in module for their 9100 series if someone already owns a 9100 series converter.
You might also want to look at the IOTA DLS series with their IQ4smart module as they are also excellent chargers and the IQ4 module is essentially the same thing as the "wizard". If you do buy a new charger/converter...get one sized 20-25% of the rating of your battery amp hours.... (i.e. a pair of batts @ 200 amp hours would do well with a 50 amp charger). No sense in getting larger than needed as the batteries cannot take that much current...unless you are planning on adding batts.
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:18 PM   #10
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Did they just start this on the 15's?
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Old 01-15-2015, 02:23 PM   #11
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I was about to say "we just started installing them in january.."...but there is no "just" that was a year ago. How time flies.

It may be in some late build 2014's as well.
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:59 PM   #12
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Great feedback! Looks like this is goes on my "Spring Fling" of mods.... Just added a wireless printer this month so I can pretend to work while I am line on this forum..

Next new topic - any thoughts about ham installations, prob start with a basic 2m on the coach.
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:00 PM   #13
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I put a new PD converter under the drawer under the kitchen sink. Very close to the batteries. If a person didn't want to do that, he could still eliminate a lot of the cable run by putting it under the bed, right by the fuse panel, and run a new positive cable right through the woodwork, behind the furnace grille, and on into the kitchen cabinet, to the battery switch. I measured out the stock cabling, and it runs a LONG way. More than 20 feet, but I don't have exact number handy. That cuts into the charging by quite a bit.
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:28 PM   #14
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Our 2014 SS 2650 has the older converter. This PD converter looks interesting. I am new to RV'ing and still learning a lot. One of my concerns reading various forums is Sulfation of batteries and if you can slow/stop/remove it the battery can last 2-3X longer. I just put my batteries on a BatteryMinder. They claim "Patented full-time high frequency pulse desulfation (NOT HIGH VOLTAGE) prevents battery sulfation on new batteries or eliminates it in older batteries, the #1 cause of early battery failure."

I looked at the PD Desulfation Mode and they state: "During this mode a timer in the micro-processor automatically switches the Charge Wizard to the BOOST MODE for 15-minutes every 21-hours. This higher voltage causes some slight gassing, and mixes up the battery electrolyte to prevent battery stratification, and the resulting sulfation of the plates, which is the leading cause of loss of battery power."

The BatteryMinder did bring back my John Deere riding mower battery from a low voltage condition after 2-3 days being connected.
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Our 2014 SS 2650 has the older converter. This PD converter looks interesting. I am new to RV'ing and still learning a lot. One of my concerns reading various forums is Sulfation of batteries and if you can slow/stop/remove it the battery can last 2-3X longer. I just put my batteries on a BatteryMinder. They claim "Patented full-time high frequency pulse desulfation (NOT HIGH VOLTAGE) prevents battery sulfation on new batteries or eliminates it in older batteries, the #1 cause of early battery failure."
PULSE desulfation devices claiming to reduce sulfation are pure hogwash as numerous independent tests have proven. That does not mean that they can't charge a battery...just that they cannot desulfate. If you want to desulfate you need something like the PD or Iota smart eq automatic circuits OR you need to manully charge at 15.5V for a couple of hours while monitoring batt temp .... or equivilent circuit (like Xantrex).

I keep waiting for some entrepreneur to bundle a pulse desulftor with one of those devices that gives you 25% better mileage that Exxon kept hidden for years.
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:57 PM   #16
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"Several companies offer anti-sulfation devices that apply pulses to the battery terminals to prevent and reverse sulfation. Such technologies tend to lower sulfation on a healthy battery but they cannot effectively reverse the condition once present"

Something is probably better than nothing.
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Old 02-24-2015, 10:00 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
PULSE desulfation devices claiming to reduce sulfation are pure hogwash as numerous independent tests have proven. That does not mean that they can't charge a battery...just that they cannot desulfate. If you want to desulfate you need something like the PD or Iota smart eq automatic circuits OR you need to manully charge at 15.5V for a couple of hours while monitoring batt temp .... or equivilent circuit (like Xantrex).

I keep waiting for some entrepreneur to bundle a pulse desulftor with one of those devices that gives you 25% better mileage that Exxon kept hidden for years.
BTW - At the risk of revealing my age: "More Doctors Smoke Camels Than Any Other Cigarette"

Do you have any references to the "...numerous independent tests..."? I've got three different engineering degrees and have been trained not to use terms like "Every body knows..." versus providing credible proof or references when either making a statement or promoting a community of knowledge. Of course, I can spell correctly too ;o)

The best Dr Google has been able to find me is what Brian (or as some call him "Bob") stated above, and that overcharging does indeed do some battery harm (albeit less than letting the sulfate build up.
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Old 02-24-2015, 11:21 PM   #18
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Joe...understood...you're from Missouri right? I have no engineering degrees but some friends who do and who look at the world just the same, sound way that I trust!
Without a whole lot of looking best I can do is share the test results of two friends from my sailing days...one is an ABYC master electrician and founder and owner of Compass Marine in Maine (see www.marinehowto.com for examples of his expertise and thoroughness.). He goes by MaineSail on the following board post. The other guy is Bill Trayfors, an engineer and one of the premier Ham Radio tech guys in the country who is also into power supply battery issues in that specialty.

A few years back they undertook to test a number of widely available pulse desulphators using proper controls and equipment. I'll let the following quoted post speak for itself while noting that these guys had nothing to lose and everything to gain if they could find a pulse unit that performed as advertised. You can follow the links to further discussions/comments/results. Here's the post:
Quote:
Quote:
but the batteries were also periodicaly desulphated using a sterling desulphator.
Dead Batteries After 8 Months? Surely Not! - Page 3 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums


REPLY OF MAINE SAIL (RC of COMPASS MARINE)
Considering I have had one of those on test for over six months and there have been ZERO measurable changes in the batteries performance please do not count on "desulfators" to do any such thing.

Both myself and BTrayfors have rather exhaustively tested "desulfators" using industry standard analyzers to measure any changes in battery (battery - Cruisers & Sailing Forums - Discussions about Battery) condition. Neither of us have been able to discern any improvement in battery (battery - Cruisers & Sailing Forums - Discussions about Battery) condition or any level of "desulfation" that results in any sort of improvement.

Contrast these devices with a simple two or four hour equalization (equalization - Cruisers & Sailing Forums - Discussions about Equalization) where I do and can measure improvements in as little as 2 hours. I have one "desulfator" (same as yours) that has been on the battery now for over 6 months. In that six months zero improvement or change in either MCA, CCA or capacity as tested with a Midtronics analyzer, Argus analyzer and a 20 hour capacity test.. The sister battery that came out of the same "paralleled" bank went through three equalization (equalization - Cruisers & Sailing Forums - Discussions about Equalization) cycles and had a 130 CCA improvement... 6 hours and 130 CCA improvement vs. 6 months and zero measurable improvement....

Funny (funny - Cruisers & Sailing Forums - Discussions about Funny) that every desulfator I have purchased and tested has a company behind it that has not used any sort of test equipment (equipment - Cruisers & Sailing Forums - Discussions about Equipment) or A/B analysis to measure changes in actual batteries. Many of them come out of China and are re-branded by "reputable" companies so people think they are getting quality gear.. Unless folks like Bill & I, who have quite expensive analyzers, actually do some physical testing owners never know the difference and the placebo effect compounded with the lightness of the wallet makes them think they are working.

I've been looking for a desulphator that actually works.. As of yet I've found no such beast.. Bill and I have not been able to find one that does anything but make your wallet lighter.....

Trust me I would MUCH rather a simple gizmo that desulfates batteries as opposed to a vicious equalization cycle. Until I see verifiable test results that show measurable improvements I am going to have to remain in the "they are snake oil" camp..
***************************
Bill Trayfors comments on the testing as well are below.Responding to a challenge that PDS's do work Bill responds as follows:
Quote:
stevensuf,

There is a whole cult which has grown up around the "desulfation" issue. Lots of circuits posted on the Internet and shared in the groups building homemade devices. Lots of testimonials from this group and others, claiming all kinds of great results.

Problem is, wherever the commercially-produced "desulfators" have been rigorously tested using laboratory equipment -- including a series of tests by a nationally recognized laboratory -- the claimed benefits have not been observed.

In my own testing of ten such devices from several manufacturers over an 18-month period, using a protocol established by three professional marine electricians, we found no evidence of benefits from these devices.

Using oscilloscopes and spectrum analyzers we did find that the devices were all different, one from the other, in terms of their output signal. There were wide variations in amplitude, frequency, duration, rise and fall times, and other such parameters. Since the supposed mode of action was to hit the battery plates with a signal resonant with the PbSO4 crystals, we wondered how they could all work with such different outputs?

In the end, we concluded that in the main these devices DO NOTHING in terms of measurable improvements to battery condition or battery life.

By contrast, a single equalization treatment (i.e., 15.5-16.5VDC for several hours) showed a marked, measurable improvement in battery capacity....and this in batteries which had been under the desulfator treatments for over a year without any improvement.
Bill would be your best contact for a source for that other research he mentions that from a national testing lab. He may be contacted through the thread links in red at the top of this post.
Have fun & hope this provides the kind of info you were looking for. If you contact either guy...tell em Cam sent ya & hi from me!
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:42 AM   #19
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Cam,

Thanks for the very detailed reply. Their analysis is consistent with what I’ve been finding. The key seems to be what type of sulfation your battery has - reversible (or soft sulfation) or permanent (or hard sulfation). Best I can determine, reversible happens over a short time in low charge and permanent happens when you let the battery get low on charge for a long-time.

For permanent, you do need the high voltage but that beats a battery up a little. For reversible, the pulse chargers do seem to offer some help. I think the key is to keep a battery at full charge at all times. I’ve got a friend, also in Maine, and also into boating, that keep all his toys (and he has many) on a BatteryTender at all times. His BatteryTenders do not have a desulfate mode, but he gets 2-3X life out of a battery than people that do nothing.

And I agree with your friends statement “Funny that every desulfator I have purchased and tested has a company behind it that has not used any sort of test equipment or A/B analysis to measure changes in actual batteries.” I would think a well conducted Test and Evaluation Study would give them bragging rights and increase their sales of such devices!

And best I can determine (again) is the two best battery “maintainers” are BatteryTender and BatteryMinder. I am going to try keeping all my batteries on the BatteryMinders at all times (except the minivan that is used multiple times a day) and see what happens. It won't qualify as a real scientific test, but I do know how long my various batteries last.

-- joe
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:32 PM   #20
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Thanks Joe...I actually have a battery TENDER + which I use for our two scooters batts and they work quite well and it is a good company.
My personal preference is to let my coach batteries self discharge in storage mode (i.e. disconnected neg wire) then hit them with a normal bulk/absorb/float charge as they approach 50% on the theory that real bulk charge at 14.6V and 20% current does a better job of preventing the stratification off the distilled water and H2So4. No proof offered...LOL

Best...
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