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Parallax Power Converter Troubleshooting


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Greetings Dolphin Masters:

I have been plugged into shore power for about 2 weeks and noticed that my cabin battery was not keeping up with my very limited DC use. I checked the output of my model 7345 Parallax Power Converter with a voltmeter and read 0V.

Does anyone know if there are schematics available for this power converter? Is it practical to troubleshoot to the defective component or is it better to buy a newer model 7345?

The Parallax website claims that their newer model has filtered DC. Is this a good enough reason to upgrade to a newer model? Or is there a better model out there that someone can recommend?

Can I get a new power converter section without changing the distribution part of the box?

Regards,

Stephen

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Thanks for the feedback and link. I have already gotten to the "Converter Replacement Is Necessary" block. I was hoping that someone had a schematic of the converter.

I did some research and found that Parallax does offer an "TCRU Series Universal Upgrade" that will work for replacing the converter portion of my 7345. according to Parallax the: " TCRU converter "Upgrade Kit" includes the TempAssure™ module and sensor cable. 45, 55, 65, and 75 DC ampere output models available! For Parallax and MagneTek model 555, and any model of Parallax & MagneTek 6300 and 7300 series".

But, I have not priced them, yet, nor do I have any feedback on cost/benefit for this upgrade. I did find a distributer that stated the converter replacement for the model 7345 is no longer available.

Does anyone have a schematic for the Parallax Model 7345 Power Converter?

Truly,

Stephen

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I did find some pricing ranging from $234.71 on Amazon to $274.99 at Camping World for the 55TCRU (55 Amp Charger) . This is a retrofit as I mentioned in the post above.

Still, I would rather replace some components that are likely to be much much less cost.

Truly,
Stephen

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If it is a switching supply you would be better off replacing it than trying to fix it. The older ones with transformers were pretty simple and fairly easy to fix.

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Hi Maineah:

I'm not sure how old it is, but if my EFI system problem (Engine Starts Normally, But Dosen't Run) isn't too expensive (just found a potential part of the problem today and wrote a post about it), I will most likely grab one of the 55TCRU's and fiddle with the non-functioning unit at my liesure.

Thanks for your input and hopefully you are following my other Forum Topic I mentioned above.

Truly,

Stephen

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Hi John (Vanman):

I don't know what the "Charge Wizard" is, but it may be what Parallax is calling their TempAssure ™ system that charges the battery at a rate based on the temperature of the battery (upgrade kit is supposed to include this sensor for the battery with a 25ft cable)

I don't know when my Load Center was retrofitted with the Model 7345 RU Electric Power Converter, just that there is a sticker inside the drop down front cover stating it was retrofitted.

However, I did some research and learned, from a single source, that this Retrofit Model is no longer available, and it pointed me to the TCRU Series Universal Upgrade Power Converter that I mentioned in a post above.

My current, or should I say No-Current Model 7345 had a rated output of 45A. I have mostly been seeing the 55A version of the TCRU being offered as a stock item; again see my above post.

I will most likely replace my Model 7345 with the 55TCRU and will follow-up with a post on how the install goes, etc.

Truly,

Stephen

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Hi John:

How long have you had this installed? I am very interested in this model. Not only is the price much better, the spec sheet is quite detailed; something I've not been able to find in this detail for the Parallax 55TCRU.

I also like the staged charging (automatic) describing the "Charge Wizard".

Thanks for your valuable input.

Truly,

Stephen

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It's hard to see from the picture on that linked page but what the "charge Wizard" has is a green LED and a micro switch pushbutton on the fused ckt board, connected to the power supply by a 4 pin micro plug and cable. The LED is on for 14.42 VDC output, blinks slow for 13.85 VDC and really slow for a 13.30 VDC maintain voltage. You can control the output by pressing and holding the button and it will cycle thru the outputs, let it go for the one you want it will stay there. I was not totally happy with the "wizards" auto operation so I like the manual control this set-up gives me.

john

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Modern chargers, like the one in your Toyota, will start at a high rate of charge then gradually lower the charge rate till the battery is charged at which time the charger is at a maintain rate. This Progressive Dynamics doesn't work like that. It has 3 outputs 14.44, 13.61, and 13.22 VDC. Before I added a switch on the dash to kill the power to the battery isolator coil anytime I started the Toyota the charger goes to 14.44 and stays there for a long time before switching to the 13.61 and then to the maintain 13.22 irregardless of the actual charge state of the deep cycle battery. I got this from Best Convertor, great people to deal with BTW, and he was happy to trade it for another convertor as he has several different ones in stock. I called all the other manufacturers and talked to their tech people and with different language and nomenclature it seems they all work exactly like this. Probably sourcing their solid state parts from the same jobber.
Not exactly a "wizard" by today's standards. But with this one you can easily see what it's charging at and change it yourself, ie. be your own wizard. :)

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BTW, I was wrong about my converter going away. I took it out of the RV and after extensive testing seems OK. I have re-installed it in the RV, so far so good.

I did remove the resistors on the ckt board so now if a fuse blows, or I have one removed, there is no voltage on that ckt, my coach LEDs would partially lite even with the fuse pulled!!

I also removed any confusion by painting the 4 ckt board terminals black and red with an indelible felt tip marker. Black marker painted the white wires and red tape on the black wires, why can't the RV makers maintain the red+ / black- wiring color convention of every motor vehicle I've ever owned?? mine has a mix of colors on the same terminal at the battery....?? Not gonna re-wire but am re-labelling.

john

edit for my lousy spelling.....><

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did you get the PD converer??

If you did you may find it handy to cut a hole in the fold down top cover so you can see the LED without having to open it up. I was going to enlarge the hole to give access to the push button too but because I travel with a large bird who is smart and attracted to everything I ended up puting a clear plastic cover over the hole, she looks but cannot get at it.

Be gentle with that push button switch it's not too rugged.

John

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Hi John:

Not yet, I have been recovering from the cost of the mechanical issue I had with the engine. Just pulled this forum back up today to check out the model number you provided earlier.

Should be able to swing the cost of this converter in a few days.

Truly,
Stephen

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  • 9 months later...

I realize this is an old post but which 4600 series replacement should I get for a 93/94 V6 Winnebago? There are three options, 35, 45 or 55 AMP and why?

I realize this is a newbie question but I would like to replace mine based on the information I've read in this post. Thanks for bringing this up and for providing links to the products, that's been real helpful.

I also thought this was an informative video on the subject:

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The choice of more amps vs less I decided by two factors. Did I intend to install multiple batteries (no) or charge up the batteries via generator (no). A higher amp charger will charge faster so if you want to use a generator to top off, it will do so quicker. That may not be an advantage for you if you plug in at camp sites most of the time. The second factor is of much more limited consideration. The ability to meet the RV DC load without a battery at all or without drawing upon the battery at peak load.

The way I looked at it was I considered the total load of everything I would likely use. Water pump, stove and roof vents and cabin lights. Then I also added a bunch of stuff like a DC powered tv and a amp that drives the speakers I have installed in the house section. Adding it all up I still could get by with the 35 amp. Thing was the 45 and 55 wasn't a whole lot more money when I bought mine so I got 45 amp. Any one of those will charge your battery.

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Wow, thank you very much @Back East Don for the great information, especially since I hadn't even considering adding up what I will use.

Based on this information I will go for the 45 amp as well since I do plan on using a 12 volt tv down the line as well as a Maxx Fan.

Have a great evening.

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Some folks get confused about amps. Just because you have a 45 amp converter doesn't mean that it will force 45 amps into a 35 amp circuit. What it means is that it can provide up to 45 amps of 12v dc. If all you have on is a 3 amp light bulb then all the converter produces is 3 amps.

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This^ before you do any thing else reduce your 12 volt loads then see if you need the extra batteries, the solar cells, the 2500 watt generator: supply and demand.

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  • 6 months later...

I went with the 35 A one. After installing LED lamps and other conservation moves it is OK to run everything and will charge both batteries at once, ( via a heavy jumper across the isolator contacts which eliminates the 1 A to run the relay and the small voltage drop across the isolator contacts.

I also installed a switch on the dash in series to the isolator coil so as not to use deep cell to start motor, turn it on after motor has been running a while to charge the deep cycle. Every little bit adds up, but seeing the current price difference between the three amp ratings I might go for a bigger one. :)

New keyboard is too small, spilled water on the original one and have not got it working yet, of course the computer was on. :)

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Can't say I ever needed to use any of my converters much. We rarely camp where there is "shore power" and I'd never use one at home just for battery maintenance. 35 amps total cap sounds fine. I have an IOTA DLS 45 (45 amp). It is the smallest Iota makes and what I like about it is it is totally silent. Many of the older converters "buzz" all the time when on. If we ran a 32" TV, DVD player, all the lights, forced-air furnace, 15.6" laptop computer, and the water-pump at the same time we'd hardly be drawing 20 amps of power @ 12 volts.

You mentioned wiring your isolation relay into your ignition switch. I had mine like that for years. Only problem was - I did not want to turn it "on" right away after starting the engine due to the high surge. So I'd start the engine - wait for the cranking battery to charge up and then - flip the "over-ride" switch I added and at first, just let it charge the "house" battery at engine idle speed. Why only at idle? If the "house" battery is run down, and the engine revved up - it can send up to 60 amps of charge current to the back and wiring systems cannot handle that. Mine has #2 cable and a 70 amp breaker and can. But I still worry about it. Anyway, long story a little shorter. After forgetting many times to turn my relay back "on" via my over-ride switch - I put in a $25 chip to do it all automatically. Nice to have. It installs directly on the isolation relay. It senses voltage the main battery and keeps the system isolated until the main battery gets up to 13.8 volts. Then it turns "on" the relay so the "house" battery goes into the charge circuit. My added chip is at the bottom of the relay in this photo.

post-6578-0-20581000-1454075902_thumb.jp

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I replaced my relay with another same type and still have sometimes too much drop across it, fed up with the Teckoshina and was looking for your post with the name of that relay please post it here before the board goes down.

I was going to fix the old one and took it apart. Just 2 copper square head bolts and a small spring loaded copper washer on the end of the solenoid, no wipe and not much compression. Really poor design, cleaned up the copper surfaces and now 0 ohms but for how long??
The one in your post looks sealed, is it?? Searched for your post and did not find it.
.TIA

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Nice one they work great, smart relay charges the truck battery first then closes the combiner to charge the house battery. Once the engine is off it waits until the house battery drops to 12.7 then switches off. I built a box with that relay and a timer circuit to close the relay (part of the function with it's external wiring) It allow me to charge the truck battery for a boost with the coach battery. Had fun building it but never had to use it to start the truck! Another little trick I forgot about it also will combine with an external charger and charge both batteries once the voltage is up on the battery connected to the charger!

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