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Electrical thingie, what is it and what does it do?


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I have this thingie. Not sure what it does.  This is on a 1977 Concord class A. When the unit is plugged in, I can hear a buzz of something being energized. Specifically I am asking about the white rocker switch. One side is transformer, one side is battery, the center is off

On my 97 Bounder, when I run off of the genset or am plugged into shore power, it is supposed to recharge my batteries. Will this do that?

If it is, that leads me to my next question, can I connect my two batteries together via a jumper at the + and have it recharge both batteries? Both batteries share a common ground, ie the frame. I am thinking it will be easier to start and both batteries would have the dual function of running the vehicle and  powering the camper, but I have to admit I am just a fuzz out of my knowledge base when it comes to vehicle electronics with dual batteries.

image_16859137.JPG

Edited by BobandBarb
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It wouldn't let me upload both pictures on the same post :(

If I tie the two positive terminals together with something like a 6 gauge wire am I going to fry it? Honestly, I would think that it probably had that exact set up at one time.

Anyone else into the vintage stuff enough to know?

me.jpg

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Your pix are too low resolution to see what that switch's function is. There's a way to attach higher res images via a link, if you're interested. Yes, you can put a jumper across the terminals to charge both, but you really don't want to leave it that way. Doing so will drain both banks at the same time and could leave you without battery capacity to start your vehicle. Plus, the banks are typically different types - deep cycle for house bank and starting type for the chassis bank.You really need a battery isolator of some sort, like an auto charge relay. That will allow you to use the banks independently, but charge them together. Hope this helps for a start. Jay

Edited by Jaydrvr
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One thing to consider is that starting batteries and coach batteries are different and do/operate in unique ways.  Starting batteries are made to provide periodic bursts of power to start the engine and operate accessories, and generally charged with an alternator.  The coach battery is different due to its function of providing small draws over a longer period to power equipment in the RV, generally charged by an converter/charger using shore power or generator power.

A better way to increase your capacity on either function would be to add capacity to your coach batteries with another 12VDC(connect in parallel) or better yet 2 6VDC batteries, which will add capacity(connect in series).  Never add a new battery with an old.  The new will be degraded to the condition of the old quickly and you will have lost the gain you tried to get.

On the starting battery, a second battery will ad reserve capacity to starting function.  If you are currently having starting issues, you might have a battery that is on its last legs and needs to be replaced, not supplemented.

Advise previously given is valuable for your circumstances too.

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If you would upload your pictures to Photobucket or one of the other cloud storage sites you could them use the "Other Media" tool on the lower right and a link from that storage to put them into a post. You could also put a link to the pictures in your post so that we could go to the larger, high resolution pictures.

Is it fair to assume that the labels printed on the front of the yellow thingie do not indicate what it is? Is there no brand or model indication on it? The lower right section of it clearly had something else installed when it was new. Have you checked to see if there are voltages there and what the voltages are? The upper-left are 120V circuit breakers, and it looks like there is some low level schematic information below it. 

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Sorry guys, let me know if this works...

https://imgur.com/a/usYladc

Will this thing charge my house battery?

I don't have a multimeter so I can't really test anything and funds are low so running out and dropping $25.00 to $50.00 on one aint happening right now.

I do have a 120V socket right next to it. It worked when I plugged in the florescent light that immediately shorted out. It was a shop light someone left in it and I think the ballast may have been to blame there. Either way I have 120V power when plugged in to shore power.

It is the function of the white switch that I am asking about.

TIA!

Edited by BobandBarb
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31 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

If you would upload your pictures to Photobucket or one of the other cloud storage sites you could them use the "Other Media" tool on the lower right and a link from that storage to put them into a post. You could also put a link to the pictures in your post so that we could go to the larger, high resolution pictures.

Is it fair to assume that the labels printed on the front of the yellow thingie do not indicate what it is? Is there no brand or model indication on it? The lower right section of it clearly had something else installed when it was new. Have you checked to see if there are voltages there and what the voltages are? The upper-left are 120V circuit breakers, and it looks like there is some low level schematic information below it. 

If you click on the thumbnails above, they enlarge slightly. Clicking on the enlargement opens the "full size" photo.

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30 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

If you would upload your pictures to Photobucket or one of the other cloud storage sites you could them use the "Other Media" tool on the lower right and a link from that storage to put them into a post. You could also put a link to the pictures in your post so that we could go to the larger, high resolution pictures.

Is it fair to assume that the labels printed on the front of the yellow thingie do not indicate what it is? Is there no brand or model indication on it? The lower right section of it clearly had something else installed when it was new. Have you checked to see if there are voltages there and what the voltages are? The upper-left are 120V circuit breakers, and it looks like there is some low level schematic information below it. 

It definitely looks like a Progressive panel, similar to the ones shown in this link, but the schematics are not showing that switch. Maybe some more digging around that site might yield something.. Jay

https://www.progressivedyn.com/service_discontinued/discontinued_prod_basic_operation.html

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7 minutes ago, Dutch_12078 said:

Clicking on the enlargement opens the "full size" photo.

Which still does not make the print legible.

Jay, the one to the left in the picture does look a lot like it and it even has the graphic on the lower left like the one in his picture. They are discontinued models so perhaps that one predates the once shown. It looks like that open section to the right bottom probably once held a fuse panel. I wonder if the white switch could be for a generator?

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2 hours ago, Darryl&Rita said:

It's an antique Progressive Dynamics converter, from the '70's or early '80's

That fits.........

6 hours ago, BobandBarb said:

This is on a 1977 Concord class A.

I wonder how far back the supply of manuals goes?

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2 hours ago, Kirk W said:

That fits.........

I wonder how far back the supply of manuals goes?

I don't think the company website goes back far enough, from memory. I think I found a manual on one of the manual upload sites. We really need the model number to help much more.

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The white switch is labeled "Transformer" and "Battery".  Converters of that time only had a low current battery charger built in, using the switch you could connect the 12 volt loads directly to the transformer so all of the charger's limited current can go towards charging the battery.  Actually transformer plus rectifier, what your 12 volt loads got in the Transformer position was unregulated, unfiltered DC.

The next version of that converter automated the transformer vs battery functions - when AC power was connected the relay would connect the 12 volt loads to the transformer, when AC power wasn't there the loads were connected to the battery.

Edited by Lou Schneider
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Bob & Barb, having owned RV's for 50 years (and was a used dealer a time) I well remember several years back the old style Converter/Chargers some with switches for Dry Camping or Shore power, but its been a long time since Ive seen them. I saw problems with some of them overcharging the battery as they functioned more like a constant voltage (say 13.5 or so) source as compared to todays modern 3 or 4 stage regulated (perhaps 13.2 to 14 or so volts staged regulated) so called Smart Chargers. For the sake of your batteries and their longevity and care I would upgrade to a modern regulated 3 or 4 stage Smart Charger.

Your picture looks like you have two 12 Volt batteries and with the two big red + cables one may be ??? the engine starting battery and the other for RV House 12 Volt loads, I cant say from here. If you had two 12 volts BOTH for RV they would be connected in parallel + to + and - to -       Typically your Converter/Charger would charge the RV house battery when plugged to shore power or genset and the alternator charge the engine battery when driving. If you were to jump/connect the two in parallel the converter charger or alternator would charge BOTH but that's not recommended as you could drain the starting battery when dry camped. There are ways to accomplish that using a solid state battery isolator or a solenoid but I wont go into that unless you ask.

 I would recommend use of a True "Deep Cycle" battery (over a so called 12 Volt RV/Marine hybrid dual purpose, even if sure they still work) for the RV house 12 volt loads (they make 12 Volt AGM Deep Cycle or lead acid in singles or else use two 6 volt deep cycle golf cart type batteries in series)  and a regular Starting Battery for the engine and of course NOT have them connected unless you had a battery isolator or solenoid of some sort. I again recommend upgrading to a Staged regulated Smart Charger for the RV house battery. If using multiples for the RV, don't mix and old with a new, BOTH should be identical in type, design, rating and even age...   

 You can do this, it isn't all that complicated and affordable especially if you do much dry camping at all.

 John T

 

John T

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