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Old 11-17-2018, 10:55 PM   #1
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Default Charger Advice

In checking the power center of my 97 PW it is a Magnetek 6332. Definately NOT a multiple stage battery charger. It's actual rating is at 32 amps. So I'm trying to figure out the best way forward. Progressive Dynamics does make an almost identical (size configuration) replacement for the whole converter/power distribution. It also makes a replacement board/converter where you can still use the existing distribution center. If I went with PD, I'd probably go with the complete center. Curiously it is less expensive than just replacing the charger portion of the Magnetek. Can't tell you why that would be.

It looks to me that the charger portion of the PD (both) is boost-normal-float-equalize. It also looks as though they are timed?

Since I'm not in any way bound to PD, I'm looking for recommendations for alternatives.

Thanks
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Old 11-17-2018, 11:55 PM   #2
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In the moderate priced chargers, the PD is not a bad choice if it has the pendant to have override of stages and is used in conjunction with a battery monitor. Not automatic great changing, but not horrible amount of effort either.


There are few other chargers that do measure the amps to control charging and are reasonably priced, but they would have to be a good match for you batteries and use as they are limited in adjustment range or non adjustable.


To get full settability and top quality charging automatically get to be quite expensive
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Old 11-18-2018, 12:36 AM   #3
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If you're going to be into RVing for a long time then maybe buying a really good charger is a good idea. Perhaps even removing it if you sell the current RV.

Either of these Blue Sea P12 chargers - https://www.bluesea.com/products/cat...ttery_Chargers - would let you charge your Lifeline battery as recommended in the Lifeline battery technical manual.

You could probably figure out how to disconnect the Magnetek charger portion but leave it in place for easy re-connection later in case you want remove the Blue Sea charger.

----------------------------------

I wonder if this combo would be a good upgrade or bad ..............

Parallax Power Supply - 6345RU Converter Replacement designed for the 6300 Series Power Centers
plus
Parallax Power Supply - 4400TAU TempAssure Upgrade KIt

Approx $300 on Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Parallax-6345.../dp/B01DQBSTIO
Plus
https://www.amazon.com/Parallax-Powe...ywords=4400tau

I can't find any description of their Three Current Stage (direct copy from their site). Because of the lack of info I'd probably not take the chance.

-----------------------

There's the Promariner / Sterling charger mentioned in the other topic.

-----------------------

The Xantrex TRUECharge2 was mention recently as well - Truecharge Battery Charger | Truecharge2 20A, 40A, 60A | Xantrex

---------------

All of the units mentioned in this post have Temperature Compensation either included or as an optional add-on. Of those, only the Blue Sea charger can be programmed exactly as Lifeline specifies.
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Old 11-18-2018, 01:04 AM   #4
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The Blue Sea Marko mentions is a very good charger without getting too crazy expensive. Fully settable, but does the measuring internally so you have to allow for that or do a little add on circuit to move the coach loads to another of the 3 banks of charging it has which is not difficult thing. Fully settable and temp correction so covers things well but doesn't include a built in monitor like the very expensive Magnums and Outbacks do so you still need a standalone monitor.


We used a 40 amp Blue Sea for several years and it worked well. We would likely still be using it, but at 40 amps it was too small for our battery bank increase to 440ah.
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Old 11-18-2018, 01:52 AM   #5
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Thanks marko and booster. I have to admit to being a knowledge-novice for all of this. So, from what I can see, multiple stage chargers can exist in varying forms. Some have timed sequences that approximate where your battery probably is in terms of capacity, some actually monitor capacity, and some monitor capacity adjusting for temperature. Is that an accurate (yeah, simplistic) assessment?

I plan to pair whatever I do with a battery monitor, probably a Victron. And I don't want to spend a ton on a 97 rv. I just want to optimize battery life/efficiency better than the old Magnetek. I doubt that I will expand capability on the 97. It's a part-time enjoyment. One additional question that I do have has to do with capability. IF I'm not adding anything significant to my single battery setup, can I stay with 30A on the charger/convertor? I've read that while you can increase the power distribution center to 45A, it requires a wire guage upgrade. I don't really need this.

Having spend years on another forum for a totally different automotive topic, I have to say that experienced guys like you provide invaluable information for the rest of us. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that.

best.glenn
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Old 11-18-2018, 02:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GallenH View Post
Thanks marko and booster. I have to admit to being a knowledge-novice for all of this. So, from what I can see, multiple stage chargers can exist in varying forms. Some have timed sequences that approximate where your battery probably is in terms of capacity, some actually monitor capacity, and some monitor capacity adjusting for temperature. Is that an accurate (yeah, simplistic) assessment?

I plan to pair whatever I do with a battery monitor, probably a Victron. And I don't want to spend a ton on a 97 rv. I just want to optimize battery life/efficiency better than the old Magnetek. I doubt that I will expand capability on the 97. It's a part-time enjoyment. One additional question that I do have has to do with capability. IF I'm not adding anything significant to my single battery setup, can I stay with 30A on the charger/convertor? I've read that while you can increase the power distribution center to 45A, it requires a wire guage upgrade. I don't really need this.

Having spend years on another forum for a totally different automotive topic, I have to say that experienced guys like you provide invaluable information for the rest of us. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that.

best.glenn

I would say your simplified description is on track.



If you are looking for good performance at reasonable cost, I think a 25-30 amp PD charger with Pendant and a monitor will do you fine. A single Lifeline 100ah battery will max at about 40 amps before getting too warm and the min they recommend for deep discharge recovery is 20 amps, so 25 or 30 would be plenty and no new wiring needed.
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Old 11-18-2018, 01:14 PM   #7
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I had forgotten about the Kisae Abso chargers: ABSO Battery Chargers - Kisae Technology

Optional temperature probe
Some presets to chose from for Absorption to Float transition
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Old 11-18-2018, 02:44 PM   #8
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I think the lowest amps the Kisae chargers will transition at are about 5% of the output setting on the charger. A 20 amp charger could be set as low as 1 amp. This is quite a bit high for Lifelines, but still better than a straight timer unit. I don't think you can manually over ride the stages in them. Looks like 4 hours max absorption time.
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Old 11-18-2018, 03:58 PM   #9
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What about skipping the battery monitor if going with a really good charger like the Blue Sea P12?

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/blue-...rger--13908876

blue-sea-battery-charger-P12.jpg..png

In my van I have a Progressive Dynamics charger plus a Trimetric Battery monitor. The monitor is kind of needed else you'd have little idea of what the charger is doing and are the batteries full etc.

In the Class A I have a Samlex Evo inverter charger with remote display panel. That gives me the info I want. I know when the batteries are full by observing amps in. It won't tell me if the batteries are 63% discharged for example but I can guess at SOC by looking at no load voltage. I've never felt the need to add a battery monitor in that RV.
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Old 11-18-2018, 04:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo View Post
What about skipping the battery monitor if going with a really good charger like the Blue Sea P12?

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/blue-...rger--13908876

Attachment 6732

In my van I have a Progressive Dynamics charger plus a Trimetric Battery monitor. The monitor is kind of needed else you'd have little idea of what the charger is doing and are the batteries full etc.

In the Class A I have a Samlex Evo inverter charger with remote display panel. That gives me the info I want. I know when the batteries are full by observing amps in. It won't tell me if the batteries are 63% discharged for example but I can guess at SOC by looking at no load voltage. I've never felt the need to add a battery monitor in that RV.

The Blue Sea is a very good charger, but it won't replace the battery monitor for much of anything except charging to full evaluation as you can see the amps, similar to what you describe with the Samlex, plus to be accurate you need to move the coach loads to a different bank than the batteries. When we had our Blue Sea, we still had to have a Trimetric to know what was going on with the solar charging, engine charging, and all the discharging stuff.


When you get up into the really nice chargers like Magnum, you can get a real monitor built in to the remote panel which is a nice feature. Some solar controllers also have a built in monitor like Blue Sky. We wound up redundant on monitors because we have a Magnum and a Blue Sky, but both of the use the monitor to get the data to very accurately control their charging.
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Old 11-18-2018, 05:36 PM   #11
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Good point. I momentarily forgot how nice and useful it is to see amps into the house batteries from the alternator or amps out due to various loads etc.
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:38 PM   #12
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Ah, very sorry but the discussion is beginning to drift over my head. So my current power center has a section where the 120v power is converted and then (I'm guessing) diverted to 2 places: the fuse/breaker section for distribution and also sent back to the house battery to charge it. Is that correct?

Some of the battery chargers being discussed appear to be just battery chargers but you often mention putting the house loads on another bank. I noticed that these chargers have provision for charging multiple batteries via additional outputs. Is what you are saying that one of these other charge outlets would feed the 12v DC section of the power distribution center? I did notice that the specs on one indicated that each of the 3 charging branches could be set independently.

thx.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:05 PM   #13
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Yes, to paragraph #1
No, to paragraph #2 as you want to also have DC power when not plugged in.

Great info here: Magnetek 6332 wiring diagram

and here Upgrade Kits for Magnetek/Parallax

Note the requirement to replace the fuse panel because it appears that for some reason positions 1 through 6 don't have a direct to battery connection.
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Old 11-18-2018, 09:54 PM   #14
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markopolo: Great information. Thanks. I also noticed that there is another page on the site of the 2nd link that has pictures...no words...of the process of replacing. I believe that you mentioned that you have a PD converter? Did you do this upgrade? And one additional question: the upgrade closest to my existing controller is 35A. Mine is currently a 32A. Close enough?
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Old 11-18-2018, 11:34 PM   #15
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I installed the PD Mighty Mini in the van. That consolidated the 120V AC panel and DC panel in the same area. It had two separate systems, one in the back and one in the front, previously.

The Class A has a Parallax unit that looks very similar to the Magnetek. I installed a Samlex inverter/charger in a new location and just disconnected the 120V wires (hot & neutral) to the converter portion in the Parallax (just like unplugging it). I left the 12V wiring and fuse panel in place and untouched as it already was connected to the house batteries. The was no need to touch it. I connected the new inverter/charger directly to the batteries using short runs of new large gauge wire and new safety fuses. I could very easily remove the inverter/charger and reconnect the converter portion if I ever wanted to.

I had a similar setup to that in a Class C. I didn't install that one but it was the same idea. A new Magnum inverter/charger was installed in a location that permitted short wire runs to the house batteries. The deck mount PD charger was just unplugged but left in place. That in place spare came in handy when the Magnum inverter/charger failed one day. I just plugged in the deck mount PD unit as was able to keep the batteries charged.
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Old 11-19-2018, 12:23 AM   #16
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What model Magnum was it that failed?
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Old 11-19-2018, 02:45 AM   #17
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markopolo: Thanks. You've given me a better understanding. I think I'm tending toward the PD and still have to make up my mind as to whether or not to buy a whole new unit or go with their charger/converter upgrade. The latter comes with a new DC board. I believe that's what gives the conversion filtered DC. It also has the provision for the dongle. I'm not sure that the PD control center that I'm looking at has that but I'll contact the company for that info.

Thanks to both you and booster. Cheers.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:29 AM   #18
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What model Magnum was it that failed?
It was an ME2012 - 2000W modified sine wave.

I'm pretty sure the internal transfer switch is what failed. Smoke came out. Grid power would not pass through after that but the inverter part still worked. We were living in the Class C at the time while renovating a house so I just bypassed the Magnum by joining the in/out AC wires.

I had thought I'd pull the Magnum out and open it up but I never got around to it and sold the Class C. The guy that bought the RV had electronics training and figured he could fix it.
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