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Old 08-07-2016, 13:38   #31
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Re: How hot is too hot for Frigoboat's Merlin II?

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Originally Posted by ErikFinn View Post
Well, COASTAL CLIMATE CONTROL, INC. has sullied their reputation by denying their responsibility with your one year old 4000 USD "marine" system, for sure. What they should have done is just send you a new control unit no questions asked, in the name of good will and customer satisfaction and protecting their reputation as a reputable "marine" fridgeration equipment disributor. Instead their foul practise is now in internet on the leading boating forum for everyone to see. Such short sighted unprofessional conduct. Better stay away from COASTAL CLIMATE CONTROL, INC. folks. Doh.
Hi Erik-
I've never have a problem with being held accountable for my own actions or mistakes. Climate Control's warranty clearly states what is and isn't covered. I agreed to that when I purchased the system. If CC replaced everything their customers f'ed up - in the name of good will and and customer satisfaction - they'd soon be out of business. And then, no one to turn to when I couldn't make cocktail ice. Dang.

I'm looking at this as pretty inexpensive lesson - somewhere we have salt water entering the boat while underway. I'd rather find out now - through a faulty circuit board - then on the way back across the sea. Circuit boards are a lot less expensive than new EPIRBS and repacking the liferaft. If you get my drift.

Thanks for the other info. We do plan to install a secondary fan in the enclosed compartment and find someway to vent it - without allowing more water in.
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Old 08-07-2016, 16:07   #32
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Re: How hot is too hot for Frigoboat's Merlin II?

I can't count the number of electronic pieces I've fixed over the years with that procedure. There is always the possibility of failure, but I'm betting that was all it needed.
If it does act up again, give it another scrub before ditching it. Salt in solution can sit under components and not be seen but is still conductive.

Glad I was able to help.
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Old 28-08-2016, 14:08   #33
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Re: How hot is too hot for Frigoboat's Merlin II? UPDATE

UPDATE:

It's been almost two months since we cleaned the circuit board for our Frigoboat keel-cooled system for the 5-cubic foot freezer. (It was somehow splashed with saltwater.) We have an identical system for ther 7-cubic foot refrigerator.

We have been in the San Carlos Marina for the past two months. It's still 95F/35C degrees outside, the marina water temperature is still 90F/32C degrees.

Both systems are still working flawlessly. We have plenty of ice and plenty of col cervesa.

In this hot, tropical climate, we are very, very happy with the performance from Frigoboat's Keel Cooled systems.
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Old 28-08-2016, 15:16   #34

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Re: How hot is too hot for Frigoboat's Merlin II?

It is most curious that your Merlin boards were conformal coated from the factory, yet the factory still thought a few salt water corrosion traces were the cause of the damage. Conformal coatings can't just be sprayed on afterwards, they cause changes in capacitance that can wreak hell on tuned circuits and they can blow heat flow, causing parts to overheat if you just take a random board and spray it after it has been made. But they're great when accounted for as part of the design process. And among other things, there's no *ing way in hell that a little salt spray is going to penetrate the coating, much less affect what is under it. So, someone is speaking to you with a forked tongue. About board temperatures: The working life of electronic components plummets as the operating temperature increases. So even if you had boards "rated" up to 100C ? You'd get significantly longer life for every 10C that you could decrease that number. You might find that getting the operating temperature down to 40C lead to a hundred-fold gain in life expectancy, the numbers can be that radically different. As Richard suggested, if you can't keep your hand on something, it is running too hot. Even if that's within the "operating" parameters. A non-contact IR thermometer, even an inexpensive one, is a great way to check things. And surprisingly, many of the inexpensive "medical" ones have multiple modes. One for "in your ear" and another for "room surfaces" and other hotter bodies.(G)
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Old 23-09-2016, 10:12   #35
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Re: FOLLOW UP - How hot is too hot for Frigoboat's Merlin II?

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I sent the link to Info at Climate Control and asked if the Merlin II's had this coating. They replied, "Yes. Merlin II's are conformally coated."

They did indeed have a layer of what looks like a very thin sheet of plastic over the back side. After cleaning, the board is working again.

THANKS!
FOLLOW UP -

So we must have a small leak in the cockpit somewhere. We're thinking around the bolts that hold the binnacle in place. Will find out today when we start the project.

When we stripped the dodger and panels off the boat for Hurricane Newton, the cockpit was exposed to a LOT of rain. (Yes, we have clear, functioning drains.)

The same circuit board got wet - again. But this time it had to be with fresh water, not salt water.

We replace the circuit board with a brand new (spare) and the system is back up and running.

So, we're thinking that these boards do NOT have a conformal coating, even though Climate Control said they do.

Still no problems whatsoever with either compressor overheating.

And the fish are keeping the Keel Coolers clean for us! LOL

Now to get on the scuba gear and clean the rest of the bottom. Yes, even with new Petit hard anti-fowling paint, things grow fast in warm water.
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Old 23-09-2016, 11:32   #36
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Re: How hot is too hot for Frigoboat's Merlin II?

Awesome advice sir ! I would never have dared this !

Sent from my LG-K350 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 23-09-2016, 12:43   #37

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Re: How hot is too hot for Frigoboat's Merlin II?

A conformal coating used to be typically, like a layer of bees wax or something a bit harder. It was hot-sprayed or dipped or painted on the completely assembled circuit boards and allowed to dry. It certainly COULD be a layer of spray paint or polymer coating these days. And depending on why it was being used, any one of them might be "the best" for a given application.


But in any case, if you have good young eyes, or reading glasses, (or, there's a group "Magnifying light" application for smartphones that turns them into a magnifying glass!) all you have to do is take a good slow look at how the components are mounted onto the circuit board. Especially any jumper wires or bits that are soldered onto the board. If the bare metal "legs" on each device are BARE METAL, it was not conformally coated. If you can take an X-acto knife or other blade and scrape some coating off the metal parts that were soldered onto the board? Then it was coated. And probably touch up the scrape with some clear nail polish if you're really worried.


The only time conformal coatings get critical, is when they cause components to overheat (bad design) or when they throw off capacitance on circuit boards, a common problem in early high0frequency and computer boards, again, bad design. Circuit boards have to be re-tested and often slightly redesigned after a particular conformal coating is applied, and then retested again if the coating is changed to anything somewhat different.
Not harm to check for them, though. And if you've got a spare board, and it looks fairly simple and not terribly heat sensitive...sometimes easy enough to add one.
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