Jump to content

Odd Carefree Compass operation


Recommended Posts

New 21 Vintage Cruiser 23RSS came with the basic Carefree awning.  As the awning gets broken in I'm finding it continues to coast and unroll after the momentary switch is released.   My background thinks these systems need a dynamic brake.  Emails with Carefree of Colorado has them believing the motor is at fault and they have graciously offered to send me one free of charge.

Digging in their online manual I find mention of a DPDT momentary rocker switch with dynamic braking must be used.  My switch is in an aftermarket KIB panel and definitely does not contain dynamic braking.  Playing around, I am able to shunt the motor wires as soon as the switch is released and stop the coasting of the motor.  Last night I doodled out a simple circuit using two SPDT relays to hopefully fix the problem.   I'm sure Carefree would graciously send me the corect switch but being it's a different size than the current one my panel wouldn't look right.

I'm I the only one with this problem or should I change my name to Oscar Charlie Delta?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forums! I don't have any experience working on power awnings but am wondering if it might be possible that the awning motor has a built-in brake that is not working? That could explain why Carefree wants to send a motor. I well understand the switch issue with the present one not being what Carefree uses. I don't really understand what you mean by shunting the motor wires, and in looking at the online service manuals there are several different manuals for different model awnings, so I didn't learn much. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Kirk W said:

Welcome to the forums! I don't have any experience working on power awnings but am wondering if it might be possible that the awning motor has a built-in brake that is not working? That could explain why Carefree wants to send a motor. I well understand the switch issue with the present one not being what Carefree uses. I don't really understand what you mean by shunting the motor wires, and in looking at the online service manuals there are several different manuals for different model awnings, so I didn't learn much. 

Shunting the motor wires is another way of saying putting a short across the wires.  The purpose of this is to stop the motor from coasting to a stop.  Remember, a DC motor that's coasting is a generator and if you short the generator's output, it stops.  Rather quickly, actually. Generally if done in a motor is done with a physical brake.  This can be a set of brake shoes or a cone type brake.  Making the switch to incorporate a shunt is a much cheaper way, and simpler way to do it. 

Way I understand it is the awning motor and gearbox are very common to an auto power window motor and wouldn't be surprised if I took one to a good auto parts store, they'd find a replacement at 10~20% of the regular cost.

It is noted in the installation manual a dynamic brake switch is required. 

So, this morning I dug through my Coffee Can -O- Relays and tested my theory.   Using two automotive SPDT relays and some scrap wire I was able to stop my awning right where I wanted it.  Luckily my handwork can be stuffed back and remain hidden.   Bonus was when retracting, it no longer rolls back open slightly. 

 

Some day I'll write a long essay on all the faufts I've found with a Covid era built trailer. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, VC 23RSS said:

  Remember, a DC motor that's coasting is a generator and if you short the generator's output, it stops.  Rather quickly, actually. Generally if done in a motor is done with a physical brake.

Having worked in the field for more than 40 years and still dabbling some in it, I am well aware of how motors work. Many years ago I operated and maintained motor-generator sets on submarines and that was where I got my early training and experience. 😉 Those motor-generator sets are what tie the alternating current systems to the direct current systems and the emergency propulsion battery. What I wasn't sure of was your use of shunt, since there are many different types and most amateur electricians would have used the term short. I suspect that you are also right about the sources of replacement motors. The common Kwikee electric steps use a motor from car windows. It would be interesting to see what the switch used by Carefree is. Glad to hear that you got it working! As I said before, I have worked on many an awning but never a powered one. None of my RVs have had one and none of my friends or family who do have a powered awning have experienced any significant problems with them, at least not when I was with them. 

Edited by Kirk W
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Sounds like you've seen quite a few motor applications.   My professional life saw motors used for railroad switch machines and crossing gate mechanisms.   Both would shunt when the power was removed.  Next time you're stuck at a RR Xing with gates and get there early enough, watch the gate arms drop.  From 90* to 45 is powered down, 40* to 5 is a snubbed freefall and the last 5 degrees is shunted with a variable resistor to slow the gate drop until in gently reaches horizontal.   This last part reduces damage to the cars of drivers that chose to ignore the warnings.

Since we use our trailer as much as we use our home and the Gulf Coast where we stay is windy, our awning gets used more than most.  That's probably why ours did this and I noticed.   To be honest, I'd prefer to have a manual awning but her vote always counts for 51%.

Edited by VC 23RSS
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, VC 23RSS said:

To be honest, I'd prefer to have a manual awning but her vote always counts for 51%.

Me too and I won that choice since it also cost less!   🙂

Interesting about the RR crossing arms. As many times as I have watched those move, I never gave much thought to how they were powered. Next time I am going to pay a lot more attention. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before I can answer the "Oscar Charlie Delta" question (and shouldn't it be: "Charlie Delta Oscar"?), I'd need to see a picture of the aftermarket panel!  Ha ha.  But different style switches, side by side, yeah, ewwww.   Aesthetics, man!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, Will B. said:

Before I can answer the "Oscar Charlie Delta" question (and shouldn't it be: "Charlie Delta Oscar"?), I'd need to see a picture of the aftermarket panel!  Ha ha.  But different style switches, side by side, yeah, ewwww.   Aesthetics, man!

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

Me too and I won that choice since it also cost less!   🙂

Interesting about the RR crossing arms. As many times as I have watched those move, I never gave much thought to how they were powered. Next time I am going to pay a lot more attention. 

They are very reliable machines.   The gate arm is latched up with a cogged one way clutch and a 340 ohm coil.  Uses very little backup battery.  Batteries die and the gate arm drops.  As long as there hasn't been a very bad ice storm freezing everything together.   The counterweights are adjustable both horizontally and vertically to help assure the gate arm falls on its own.

Back when I was Chief Eng. I spec'd 120 hours of backup battery in rural locations with normal train operations.   Now that took some work figuring that one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Today I received an email from Carefree of Colorado basically saying some manufacturers install an improper switch that does not have dynamic braking.  And mine is one of them.  Impressive company that warrants a defect that may be caused by the installer's negligence. 

If anyone finds a similar situation,  drop me a note and I'll send you my schematic. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...