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Old 04-08-2009, 15:07   #1
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Adler Barbour Cold Machine Issue

The boat I purcased came with an older AB model 12L cold machine and it worked fine for the past two years. However, this summer it quit. The fan keeps cycling on and off every 5-20 seconds, with a corrosponding jump and fall in my 12v amp meter. When I first became aware of this, I shut off the system and when I restarted it, it worked ok for a while and then it started to cycle again without any cooling.
I tried to trouble shoot the problem by by-passing the thermostat with no change. I then shut off the system for a while and, when I restarted it, it worked fine and started to cool again. However , when I returned to the boat a few hours later, it was again cycling and the compressor was not operating. Then, as suggested by AB, I by-passed the wiring system with a wire direct from the battery; again, no change. This leaves the module or the compressor as the problem. I tend to think it is the module because the compressor did operate the one time after a shut down and , if for no other reason, the AB trouble shooting guide lists the module ahead of the compressor in possible problem areas. Adler Barbour has been purchased by Domenic and the tech support is difficult to contact and not very helpful. According to one distributor, the module's are no longer available but he said a fridgeboat one would work for $295.00. I have another dealer trying to locate an AB one for me.

Question: Has anyone else had a similar problem and was it the module or compressor?

I am willing to gamble a couple hundred on the module but $300 puts me in the area where I might better buy a new unit. I question the AB's due to my service experience so far.
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Old 04-08-2009, 15:44   #2
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You can get the control module at R-parts for $216. http://www.rparts.com/Catalog/Major_...ss/danfoss.asp
They have 2 different ones for the BD50 compressor. Your machine uses the 010-1175. You could upgrade to automatic speed changing module.
There are some tests you can do on the compressor. Measure the resistance between all 3 pins. You should get 2.0 ohms.

The module that is on it right now does the LED blink when it the fan runs or dosen't run. If so how many flashes.
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Old 04-08-2009, 16:54   #3
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Thanks for the information. Mine maybe too old for those parts but I will look anyway. Mine does not have any led and it is a four prong connection, not three.
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Old 04-08-2009, 17:28   #4
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Low Freon?
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Old 04-08-2009, 18:44   #5
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I am not a refrig expert but I do not think it's low freon because the unit was very cold when it did run. Also, the AB trouble shooting guide does not list low freon as a possibility for this issue.

In the meantime, I have found one internet site that states the four prong power modules are no longer in production which means you have to buy a new compressor and module to repair. Unless of course you get lucky and find someone with an old one in stock. The new ones come in three sizes and, the smaller one, which they say is the "preferred" unit for replacement in older systems, runs about $400 for both the module and compressor. The next problem to research would be, would the fittings from the new compressor be compatible with the fittings on the lines to the old evaporator and would the new compressor and module attach to the old base and fan, which are in good shape.

Maybe it's time to call in the professionals?
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Old 04-08-2009, 18:45   #6
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The old 4 pin. It is an antique. Good luck finding a control module, they are extinct.

Check the pins on the compressor. It is a 3 phase motor with the #3 pin being the common pin, you should have a conductivity between pin 3 to each of the other pins 1,2, and 4. If there is no conductivity the motor is shot.

Definitely not low freon, it would run and run and would not get cold.

Just a thought, the control box is basically an inverter turning DC 12 volts into 3 phase power. Perhaps you know of some electronics geek who could take a look at it. Maybe the early Danfoss modules used more components than chips and could be repaired.
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Old 04-08-2009, 19:07   #7
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Loss of refrigerant will not keep this compressor from running but a brushless cooling fan with a couple of weak transistors inside will keep Danfoss electronic module from powering up compressor. Try disconnecting black fan wire. If compressor runs replace Fan.

New four pin modules are available from Frigoboat for around $200.
or try,
Miller Marine will test and if requested will repair the module.
info@millermarine.com
Location
4669 Roosevelt Blvd. Jacksonville, Florida 32210
(904) 388-3690
(904) 389-8555 FAX
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:37   #8
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I replaced my previous Cold Machine with a new Cold Machine due to similar issue to what you are describing. I would first have the freon charge checked. That's a small investment to cover the most probable issue. Yes it will be cold at first, with what freon remains, but then will want to cycle the compressor too often due to low charge. There is an overtemp shutoff that then kicks in, killing the compressor. Cools for just a short interval (seconds to a minute or so), then tries again (over and over and over).

I finally gave up on the old one and replaced the whole thing. If you go the whole route, beware that the new ones, which are supposedly precharged, are frequently undercharged. Mine was, and the reefer tech that came said it was a consistent issue. That said, he recharged it and AB paid.
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:30   #9
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is your old one Freon 12? if so It may be real expensive to charge also....
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:35   #10
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Ah, yes. Cheechako raises another good point. In my replacement, I had to replace EVERYTHING, including the evaporator, etc. to shift from R-12 to the newer coolant. :-(
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:29   #11
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If no one has tampered with refrigerant ignore any advice suggesting refrigerant volume as causing your problem.
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Old 05-08-2009, 18:18   #12
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Thanks for all the input. Right now my plan of attack is to get a multi-meter and test the compressor. That seems to be the next logical step.
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Old 20-09-2010, 23:51   #13
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I have the same problem with my old cold machine. Tries to turn on every few seconds and fails --- what was the ultimate solution here, as I am about to but a whole new system unless it can be fixed...???? Help!
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Old 21-09-2010, 06:01   #14
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Miller Marine listed above will no longer test Danfoss Modules. If you have tried bypassing all boats wiring eliminating a low voltage momentary spike. Also disconnecting black wire of fan and compressor still will not run, send the electronic module to me and I will test it for you.
richard@kollmann-marine.com
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Old 21-09-2010, 07:13   #15
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My Danfoss-based compressor and fan do the repetitive short cycle when the batteries are low - like 11.7. If your batteries are not low, check the voltage right at the module. Could be funky connections somewhere.
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