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Old 08-15-2010, 10:36 AM   #1
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Hughes Autoformer

I originally purchased my first Hughes Autoformer model 2130 with the lights on the side back in 1993. Being an electrician by trade I understood how low voltage would damage any electronics that needed 120 volt AC to run or convert to DC power.

You see if you load stays constant and your voltage decreases then amperage/current with increase in exact oposite proportion as to voltage. Ohms Law E=I x R, I = P/E

Load is our Power Converter. (Example only) It uses 120 volts at 5 amp. which is 600 watts.
This is a solid state device and converts 120 volts AC to DC volatge to power lights, AC thermostat controls, Refrigerator controls, etc.

If the shore power drops to 110 volts the amperage/current to run that device increases from 5 amp to 5.45 amps

If the shore power drops to 100 volts the amperage/current to run that device increases from 5 amp to 6 amps.

Also in conjunction with the lower voltage and higher amperage you have more heat and in many cases this also contibutes to solid state device failures.

With my new trailer I looking to buy the new Hughes RV430 model that has a 3 stage boost of 5%, 10% and 15%. It is a very expensive device but have you ever burnt up your refrigerator control board? Just the board replacement is about $250. Also consider that if you have your flat screen TV on or Microwave oven those also could fail over time from low voltage conditions.

I'm sure this will generate many questions and I'm here to help.

Oh If you have a ground fault or surge protection device that is not the same subject I'm speaking about.

So let the games begin by letting us know what you are using to correct low voltage in your rigs.
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:57 AM   #2
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I talked at length with a neighbor at the KOA in Bellefonte PA this past week who had one. He LOVED it and would never hook up without it. Even though our power at the KOA was solid 120 the entire time, he still hooked it up. His logic was that you never know when a voltage fluctuation will result from events in the local area.

I am shopping for one now. The only issue I am struggling with is; do I buy a 50 amp or 30 amp one. My needs right now indicate a 30 amp job, but who know what I will be using "tomorrow."
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
I talked at length with a neighbor at the KOA in Bellefonte PA this past week who had one. He LOVED it and would never hook up without it. Even though our power at the KOA was solid 120 the entire time, he still hooked it up. His logic was that you never know when a voltage fluctuation will result from events in the local area.

I am shopping for one now. The only issue I am struggling with is; do I buy a 50 amp or 30 amp one. My needs right now indicate a 30 amp job, but who know what I will be using "tomorrow."
I would say if you have a 30 amp service now that's all you need.
Remember that the old model 30 amp is RV2130 has one boost of 10% and the new model with 3 stages of 5%, 10% and 15%
.
The older model is going for $379 and used $200 to $250
The newer RV430 is going for $439. I'm watching the price and hope it goes down before I need to buy.
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:11 PM   #4
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thanks for the tip on the model number. I will fire up my PayPal and look in ernest.
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Old 09-25-2010, 07:33 AM   #5
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it's been years sense i looked at the workings of an autotransformer. then it was only briefly.
i'm assuming u would need a 220 input with two 110 outputs for the 50 amp (assuming such an animal exist...i seem to remember an auto transformor was a single winding transformer with multipal taps....it has been a few years). or you would get two 50 amp and put one on each leg. (would only need one for 30 amp...could make it a 50 and add another later) the two would also work if u happened to be on the same phase for ur 50 amp...ie u plugged in one of those adapters to two sources to supply to both legs.
Now u've sparked my curiosity, when i get back to Lake Charles, i'm going to have to find my books and look it up.
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:31 PM   #6
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We use a 10% boost, 30A model. We also religiously use a volt meter plugged into one of our wall outlets to monitor our voltage.

In the Texas heat, there many times when the AC usage at the house, park, resort drives down the voltage in the system and I worry about my hookup. I was surprised how often the Autotransforer was in boost mode.

Heavy. Expensive. But worth it.
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Old 09-28-2010, 03:39 PM   #7
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Where has all the power gone?

Great thread, Iggy. Somewhere in my old, foggy brain I've touched on all this stuff, pre-RV'ing, but never thought to.....well, never thought. I just "assumed" (and you know where that leads) all shore power was up to snuff. From now on I'll be hooking up my volt-meter when we come in from the boonies and plug into the grid. If I find a great variance in supplied shore power, I'll pop for one of those 30 Amp modlels. Question: Is the Hughs Autoformer RV430 wired-in/plugged-in before or after the main supply?

Thanks again for the "heads-up."
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:13 PM   #8
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The Hughes RV2130 is a single stage auto-transformer with 10% boost.

HUGHES AUTOFORMER RV2130: eBay Motors (item 330431255037 end time Oct-04-10 09:41:06 PDT)

The Franks auto-transformer is a two stage auto-transformer with an 8% and 16% boost.

eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

They also make a 50 amp model.

The Hughes RV430 (the new one) is a three stage auto-transformer with a 5%, 10% and 15%

Hughes Autoformers ::

The new Hughes 50 AMP unit is an RV450

Hughes Autoformers ::

I have been watching them on Ebay waiting to hit the lottery.

They go between shore power and the camper. They can be permanently mounted inside with a little work. Just mount so the "boost on" lights are visible.
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:20 PM   #9
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okey, learned something New today, Now I have to tell the Wife it would be in our Best Interest to pick one up
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:16 AM   #10
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ok, lets see how i can ask if i can run an input (50 amp service) that has 220 volts between the two hots and 110 from each ground or 0 volts between the 2 hots but 110 from each to ground, will one autotransformer work (i'm trying to see in my mind how they would connect that internally) or will i need two?

Sometimes i plugg in to a 50 amp service. other times i adapt from one 30 to the double 50. then there times that i plugg into two circuits and supply the 50 amp socket that i plug my 50 amp cable into. (one plug goes to one of the 50 amp hots and the other goes to the other 50 amp hot. phase between the hots on this set up can either be 0 or 180. i asked one of the manufactures this question and still hearing the tumble weed outside.
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:43 AM   #11
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Excellent post Iggy.

As a former Navy electronics technician, I can certainly vouch for the effects of fluctuating power on electronic devices.

I would have just assumed this kind of protection should be native in TTs today, but of course that would just raise the price even more.

I have a brand new Toy Hauler and I will be investing in one of these ASAP

Thanks for the wake up call to someone who should have known this already (points at myself)
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:59 AM   #12
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"Will one autotransformer work (i'm trying to see in my mind how they would connect that internally) or will i need two?" Jimh

You would need a 50 AMP autotransformer that the coach shore cord would plug into. You would use an extension cord (or the short cord on the autotransformer) to plug into the pedestal. Any adapters would be between the autotransformer and the pedestal.

The plug on the autotransformer is just like your coach plug and is wired the same so there would be no difference how you hook up.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:04 AM   #13
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First Post..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatchet58 View Post
okey, learned something New today, Now I have to tell the Wife it would be in our Best Interest to pick one up
And ditto on that^^^
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:35 PM   #14
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We still use our autoformer every time I hook up to 30 amp. It has saved my rigs several times due to low voltage and surge. For 50 amp, I have a large plugin surge protector. I never seen the need for a autoformer on the 50 amp side.
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:52 PM   #15
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We still use our autoformer every time I hook up to 30 amp. It has saved my rigs several times due to low voltage and surge. For 50 amp, I have a large plugin surge protector. I never seen the need for a autoformer on the 50 amp side.
Like I said in another post, I don't have a 50 amp unit. However, it is my understanding that one Air Conditioner located on each leg of the two 110 circuits. When hooked up to the 30 amp leg only one of your AC's would be protected. Correct me if that is wrong.

Also, a "surge protector" will NOT prevent LOW voltage problems in your coach. That is the job of the auto-transformer. It's only function is to clip off SPIKES in voltage that would fry electronics.

Voltage spikes occur for many reasons.

1) Lightening strikes close by that "induce" momentary extreme voltages on the wires.

2) Heavy draw electrical equipment on the circuit (like welders or heavy tools) that pull down the voltage momentarily, then "spike up" when the heavy equipment load drops quickly.

3) You find yourself at the beginning of a long run at a campground where voltage is kept high, so those at the end of the run have "normal" voltage. This is not usually a problem until everyone's air conditioner shuts off at the same time and spikes the voltage.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:44 PM   #16
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i'm probably saying the same thing only a little different. when u adapt the 30 amp service (supplied by campground) to a 50 (plug for travel trailer) the 30 is connected to both of the 50 amp hot legs. if u had an a/c on each leg, they would both have power and could run and may do so until both tried to start at the same time. then the breaker at the pedistel would trip.

on the autoformer, i'm going to have to see a schematic on one to see how they are resolving the different input voltages and phase differences. the autoformer must be hugh to carry 50 amps. what is that...a #6 winding?
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:56 AM   #17
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The way I understand it there is never an issue with phase. Nothing in the coach uses 220. Just like in your house, it does not matter which phase your 110 comes is drawn from.

I would assume the same goes for the 50 amp unit. Just two up-gunned autotransformers to handle 50 amps in one box.
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:12 AM   #18
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I just check for Hughes Autofomers and there is a posting that state Hughes is no longer in business. It has been sold to another company and people cannot make contact to have their units repaired.
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:26 PM   #19
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Hughes Autoformer UPDATE Dec 20, 2010

Hughes Autoformer UPDATE Dec 20, 2010

I just was checking on buying the Autoformer from Hughes and noticed online that the NEW RV4130 and RV4150 versions are no longer available. So I called and asked why. Seems that a key component of the new versions motherboard waas no longer available from the manufacturer so they decided to discontinue the 2 new versions I listed above.

They will continue to sell the original model versions RV2130 & RV2150 that give a 10% boost below 116 volts from shore power.

Anyone have a RV2130 that works and no longer needs FOR SALE?
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:08 PM   #20
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Makes my purchase of a Frank's Electronics Voltage Booster,Autoformer,Camping - eBay (item 260469044469 end time Dec-21-10 07:00:52 PST) seem pretty good.

I used the "Name your price" feature and got my 30 Amp unit for $350.00

It is a two stage unit with an 8% and 16% boost feature. While not a 3 stage like the new Hughes; at least they are still available.
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