converter 12V output rectification recommendations

Discussion in 'Wiring' started by EdZilla, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. EdZilla

    EdZilla Member

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    Denver
    I have a MagnaTek 6400A Model 6409 Converter
    http://www.popupportal.com/media/img_6162.9520/

    It works fine, but I think that when it's on shore power, although I can run the LED lights, the 12V output is not clean 12V DC. I don't have an oscilloscope, but when I put a meter on it, the reading jumps around a little, and so I suspect that it's lumpy DC.

    I'd like to be able to run certain electronics equipment off the 12V, but I need it to be clean regulated 12V. For example, I plugged in an inverter (DC to AC) to the 12V cigarette lighter style adapter and it errored out and would not work.

    Hopefully my explanation is sufficient to describe what I'm trying to do and someone can recommend a simple solution.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  2. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

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    Is this the original converter? If so I would replace it with a newer converter. The newer converters have better quality 12v power, or so they say.
     
  3. xvz12

    xvz12 Well-Known Member

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  4. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

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    After looking at your picture, it does appear to be an original unit. I would definitely replace it with a newer unit. Converters eventually go bad. A newer unit would, in my opinion, provide cleaner power.
     
  5. EdZilla

    EdZilla Member

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    Denver
    That's not exactly what I'm looking for, but is an inexpensive option and maybe the best solution since I'm really just trying to get clean DC when running on shore power.
     
  6. EdZilla

    EdZilla Member

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    Denver
    It is an original unit, so and the camper is a 1994 model so it's at least that old. It works, so unless I can find a really inexpensive and superior replacement, I'll look for another solution.
     
  7. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand. When you are on shore power only the lights are 12v from the converter. Why would you need a clean 12V. Why would you need to go from 12V to AC when you have AC shore power? If you want a clean 12v for something else just plug in a 12V power supply into your AC receptacle.
     
  8. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    Ok, maybe I'm missing something, but if you have shore power, why not just plug a regulated power supply into one of your outlets and plug your 12 volt device into that? Why bring the converter into the mix?

    Doh!!! Beaten to the punch I see.
     
  9. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    Same question as others, why use an inverter if plugged into shore power?
     
  10. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    Some of the older converters where so weak in DC REGULATION they wanted the Installed BATTERY to help provide additional DC regulation. One version even had a DC CONTACTOR involved that if a Battery was not connected the converter would not have any DC OUTPUT. I believe those where the MagnaTek models.

    The original concept may have been everything would run from a 12VDC Battery and when things evolved into using 120VAC for modern day appliances etc then the early converter was only a DC Charger to keep the battery charged. Todays 12VDC and 120VAC requirements have come along way since the earlier RV Trailers.

    Here is a typical 30A Power Distribution plan for the modern day trailers...

    [​IMG]

    The main thing this drawing shows to me is the two distribution panels are the center of how the trailers works. You will notice that the 12VDC Distribution Panel where all of the 12VDC Requirements are wired to and are fused and have two 12VDC sources connected. One source being the 12VDC battery and the other other being the DC Converter that produces 12VDC that is operated by plugging the shore power cable into a 120VAC Source which can be a Camp Ground Pedestal or a 120VAC Generator set. Both of these 12VDC sources feed the same terminal on the 12VDC Distribution Panel.

    Having the two 12VDC sources allows the trailer to be used to operate modern day appliances as well as the BARE necessities when camping off-grid somewhere...

    Being an avid tent camper from the 60s my camping modes is for the most part camping OFF-GRID somewhere without Shore Power which requires me to have a beefed up battery setup and ways to keep my charged for long periods of camping away from standard shore power areas. Oc course you see I have a 13500 Air Conditioner on top of my OFF-ROAD trailer but it very seldom gets use except when we are camping at shore power camp grounds. Would take many many batteries to make it operate when OFF-GRID.

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
  11. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    I believe that is not correct. The conv/off/batt ISOLATES the transformer from the battery so there is no way to connect the 'converter' to the battery.

    A battery may be an option for clean 12v.
     
  12. NMroamer

    NMroamer Active Member

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    Wow a lot of suggestions to help but rabird nailed it.
    A battery is the best clean 12 volt power you can get for the money.
     
  13. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    Until it is discharged
     
  14. EdZilla

    EdZilla Member

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    Denver
    It’s a fair question.

    When on shore power the lights are generally all that is 12V, and they aren’t sensitive to variations in the 12v output, however some electronics are. For example, an (expensive) ham radio that runs off of 12volts probably needs to be powered by a clean regulated 12V source. My converter 12v output is definitely not clean 12v.

    The other question is also fair, and I️ should have explained. I️ wasn’t intending to use the inverter, it was just to test how some 12v electronic systems would respond to my converters 12v output when on shore power. Plugging in the inverter to my 12v source when on shore power and seeing that it did not work was verification that some 12V electronics would not work because there is something anomalous with the 12V from my converter when on shore power.

    The third question you asked is also fair. I️ could plug a 12v supply into the receptacle and get clean 12V (something Wynn first suggested) but what I’m doing is wiring a 12v accessory panel directly from the converter 12v output. The source 12v to the panel should be clean whether it’s battery or from the converter.

    In retrospect, I️ probably should have explained my motivation from the start.

    Make sense?
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  15. EdZilla

    EdZilla Member

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    Sep 19, 2017
    Denver
    Yes, until it’s discharged. Currently I’ve wired my 12V accessory panel directly to my battery so that it’s clean 12v, but that means that I’m draining the battery even when on shore power. This is the reason I’m trying to clean up the converter 12v output so I️ can use it for even my most sensitive electronics.

    I️ have plenty of options and I️ welcome the discussion we’ve had here.

    I’ll probably go the additional 12V power supply idea that Wynn (xvz12 ) suggested.
     
  16. Fbird

    Fbird Active Member

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  17. EdZilla

    EdZilla Member

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    Denver
    Agreed.

    The previous owner did some hacking on it and so I’ve been in there a fair amount to clean things up. I’m making sure all the connections are solid, and that I️ have proper wiring harnesses, strain relief and bus bars where it makes sense.
     
  18. EdZilla

    EdZilla Member

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    Sep 19, 2017
    Denver
  19. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

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    Yes it does. It's more expensive though then a new power center, which would have a new converter and charge the battery.
     
  20. NMroamer

    NMroamer Active Member

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    Albuquerque NM
    As a ham radio buff you might be able to add a filter in line on the 12 volt source.
     

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