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Old 05-09-2012, 04:24 PM   #1
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Default Problem with Progressive Dynamic converter PD720Q

Greetings all.

I thought I would post a little about my experience trouble shooting a PD720Q progressive dynamics converter and how I ended up having to trouble shoot something that was working fine before a fire and I had to take my RV in to get fixed.
A couple years ago I had a fire from an overfilled propane tank and it seems I am still working out the aftermath of getting work done at a "professional" shop.
The Gas station did end up paying but meanwhile I had to go through a "professional" top get it done in case it had to go through insurance.
I thought I was done fixing the "professional" install last year and was trying to figure out why the converter stopped working last year.

I downloaded all the manuals and links that Markopolo provided and started to get to work on it. Progressive Dynamics steered me to a fella called Wes Miller at Mastertech and he gave me a couple pointers on looking a little deeper when I was about to give up and buy a new converter. It was old and had quite a hum when I was using it. After talking with Wes I decided to stay on track trying to fix it instead of giving up and replacing it. It did not take long to know some of the hard things to replace were not the problem by using some common sense and the links that Markopolo provided.
You can find all those links on the Thread RE: Total Electrical Upgrade by Markopolo

When I plugged into shore power it would click ( relay to go from battery to converter for 12V) and anything on 12 volts would turn off and it would not charge. As soon as I would unplug the converter from shore the 12 volt from the battery would come back and everything worked.
I went through the unit testing continuity and power and everything "seemed" fine with the SRC, diodes and breaker and I was getting 12V out of the converter but it was not making it to the 12 volts system feed. I checked all the fuses and breakers and everything was good. Once I figured out that the Diodes and transformer seemed to be working I thought it was the charge board problem ( 6 wire ) but thought I would check the ground although there was no reason it would be bad but when I jumpered the ground everything worked instantly.

It was a simple open ground!

When I had the "professionals" to it they messed up so much stuff It got to the point it was easier to redo it myself instead of loosing time trying ways to leave my RV there repeatedly , they also made excuses for a bad install and never read the install manual. I figured out this year the converter never worked because they did not connect the ground properly. They used a butt connector and it was not crimped on the actual wire. they also used 1o gauge wire to bridge the burnt up 8 guage wire and the crimps were weak and pulled right out. While a owner could hack a 16" length of under gauge wire in I feel it was unacceptable for a shop to do it and the terrible job they did of it. If they would have tested everything as they should have this would not have happened.

I took out the work they did and replaced both substandard wires and soldered in a 8 gauge wire for ground (-) to battery and the power wire to battery and now everything works as it should.
I am seriously thinking about completely replacing most of the 12V wiring from point to point as well as the 110V they also made a mess of. I know that will not get done this year for sure.

You can't do everything yourself all the time and and sooner or later you have to trust someone, and all you can do is cross your fingers and pray.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: Problem with Progressive Dynamic converter PD720Q

Here's a re-post of the two main links for info and troubleshooting the PD 720Q:

PD720Q Manual
http://www.progressivedyn.com/service_d ... MANUAL.pdf
It has a troubleshooting section.

Lots of info here: http://dave78chieftain.zxq.net/ConverterInfo.html

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That is very interesting and great that you solved the problem.

From the owner manual it seems that the charger is somewhat "smart".



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I'm posting the following for everyone who is not too sure about maintaining 12v batteries or whether they should replace their converter/charger. This is very general advice. Different batteries and different charging and maintenance profiles.

It is a good idea for all of us to periodically check the charging voltage of our chargers.
Use a good multi-meter set to DC volts and measure at the house battery when your charger is plugged in. Check with two different volt meters if you can. Sometimes they're off by quite a bit.
Take a few measurements over the course of a week.

Ideally the voltage will drop to around 13.2volts when your batteries are fully charged and your charger is plugged in. That can take a week or more. At 13.2 volts or less you can leave the charger plugged in as much as you want unless your are in a really hot climate.

If you consistently see 13.8 volts or more you run the risk of "boiling" the battery if you leave the charger on. Your battery will "gas" at that voltage. You'll have to check battery water levels often. Even more often if you are in a hot temperature climate. I would not suggest leaving your van plugged in for extended periods at that voltage unless your particular battery brand requires it. I'd use a battery maintainer instead of your on-board converter/charger for long term maintenance.

If you consistently see 13.6 volts you probably could leave your charger plugged in for extended periods if you are not in a place where the temperature is mostly over 80F. 13.6v is considered to be on the high side for maintaining most battery brands. You'll have to check battery water levels monthly probably. I think I'd use a battery maintainer instead of your on-board converter/charger for long term maintenance.

If you have a converter/charger that consistently outputs 12.8 to 13.2 volts you should be able to keep your van plugged in for long periods.

Older converter/chargers are often blamed for premature battery failure when in fact the proximate cause is lack of battery maintenance. Batteries that are left for extended periods in a discharged state lose capacity. Eventually, they'll "boil" at much lower voltages the the normal 14.4 charging voltage. I'd say it is too late for the battery then. Get a new one and take better care of it.

Often, batteries in RV's never actually get fully charged. They are charged up to about 80% and the simple battery meter in the RV says that they are "charged". That's when some people turn off the charger. At least with Class B vans we tend tend to drive more often and the batteries usually get to see 14 to 14.4 volts so they can charge.

I calculated that it will cost me $11.50 to keep my 4 batteries on a float charge of 13.2 volts for an entire year! That is much better than letting them sit for extended periods in a discharged state.

Just my opinion here. It got a little long and off topic..........
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