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Old 01-12-2005, 15:31   #1
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Battery Charger went Tango Uniform, now what..?

Just when the boat is perfect and all the big and small projects are over with, done and finished, something pops up..

Been suspecting that my Pro Mariner Inc, Elite series PROMATIC 40-3 did not put out as it should, but the brand new Xantrex battery monitor confirmed it.

With 2 big solar panels pumping juice even on cloudy days, and with the battery charger running its cooling fan when turned on,
one can be mislead into thinking the machine works.

It does not.
Opened it up to check the internal fuses and they both check okay.

Not sure where the problem is or if it can be fixed.

In the meantime I have been shopping for a new one and settled on this here Xantrex 20 AMP 3 stage unit..So far the cheapest internet price is $298.00

http://store.solar-electric.com/tc-20-.html

Any better deals out there.?

Any suggestions on trouble shootin the old PROMATIC 40-3...?


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Old 01-12-2005, 17:01   #2
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Wish you luck, CSY.

I know anything dealing with electronics, on any kind of vehicle. Can be a pain in the bum.

I wish you luck.
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Old 02-12-2005, 03:28   #3
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Have you tested DC Output (open cct), AC Output (on ferro-resonant transformer secondary), Capacitor, and Diodes?
These older ferro-resonant chargers make great power supplies, so it's worth fixing (if possible).
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Old 02-12-2005, 04:53   #4
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Quote:
Have you tested DC Output (open cct),
Not really tested with an open circuit, just noticed that there is no output at all as per my Battery Monitor.
Would it make a difference if I disconnected the DC side and tried again...? As with no load..?

Had the same unit on the bot since I bought it and have not changed anything, moved wires around, etc..It just stopped a-charging one day, but the cooling fan still runs and gives out a little hum, so ya think the box is still putting out, but it ain't.

The trouble shooting chart says to check the internal AC fuses, and if they are okay to call a certain 800 number...Which is no longer in service.
Wonder if the ProMariner folks are out of business..?
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Old 02-12-2005, 11:09   #5
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OK, so you have a hum. That's a good sign. How electronicly inclined are you?? Be very careful working on any Live electrical equipment. A good rule is to always keep one hand in your pocket.
First, test the AC transformer outputs. You will see two or three really heavey wires. If three, one will be a centre tap and you place one meter probe on that and the other probe on another, then the other another Make sure your meter is reading AC and set to a high scale and then select a lower scale as you identify the voltage, if any. If two wire, then the measurment will be across just the two heavy wires. After that, the AC will be changed into a DC form. So change your meter to a DC reading and now check the output of the rectifier. I won't go any further right now, it will get too confusing. Post with your findings and I will head off in the direction required by your accessment.
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Old 02-12-2005, 13:59   #6
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Roger on that Mr. Wheeler.

Will look into it after the week-end, now going sailing.

Not sure it is worth repaining the old charger, it could fail again and a new one will set me back around $280.00.

Stay tuned.
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Old 02-12-2005, 16:57   #7
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A 20 amp unit is ideal for about 400AHrs of capacity. It can do OK with upto 600AHr, but it's getting on the small side. Unless you are under 400Hr, I would look at replacing the charger with another 40 amp unit, not the 20A unit. I went for a 20A and now regret it. But then, for me a charger on Xantrex quality and capable of 40A-2 was going to cost me closer to NZ$2K. Ouch. All I could afford at the time was a 20A-2 "Smart" charger on special at NZ$600. Mate, I wish I could get a Xantrex at $280. You US guy's are Lucky Lucky.
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Old 03-12-2005, 03:14   #8
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Xantrex used to offer reconditioned units, factory direct. Check at:
http://www.xantrex.com/productcart/pc/mainIndex.asp
The 20A Xantrex chargers generally go for around $300, and the 40A at around $400 (USD), so your quoted pricing seems about right.
As Alan indicated, the 20A is recommended for banks to about 400 A/Hrs, and the 40A to over 600 A/Hrs.
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Old 04-12-2005, 11:47   #9
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Yeah, roger on the size.

My house bank is about 440 amps so I probably need the bigger changer.

My thinking was that the 2 solar panels keep the batteries topped up most of the time.

The only exception is if I run the fridge/freezer in cloudy weather, then I need some charging power.

Will price the 40 AMP unit and see what kind of deal I can get.

Have not started troubleshooting the old charger yet, will put a meter on it, but suspect the AC diodes are burned out.
(Actually that is what my electrian neigbor guessed..:-)
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Old 04-12-2005, 12:01   #10
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Well the rectifier diodes are simple and cheap to replace. If you don't want the thing, box it up and send it my way
One other advantage of having a high capacity charger, if you use a Genset to charge, the ability to thump as much in, in as short a time as possible, is a big BIG Plus. It's where I made my biggest mistake. Instead of starting the big engine to do a charge, I use a genset to power the smart charger. But with 550Ahrs, it takes hrs of running the 25A charger to even think about building up a reserve again. So I should have gone to a much much bigger unit in the begining.
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Old 04-12-2005, 13:36   #11
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Yeah, I agree.
Now got a deal on a 50 AMP Guest charger for $341.00 plus tax, I may jump on it.

Sure I could box up the old one and send yer way, but Freight would probably be rather expensive, ya are in New Zealand right..?

It is a 110 Volt charger, but I think it can be converted to 220 V by doing some internal magic, as per the instruction leaflet.
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Old 04-12-2005, 17:52   #12
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Old 04-12-2005, 18:58   #13
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I did, no PM.

Standing by....
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Old 06-12-2005, 20:32   #14
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Well, I did check the AC output by measuring for any kind of current on the AC circuit by removing the AC fuses and inserting the mulit-meter probes in the "female" side of the fuse holders.

No cigar on either circuit.

I put the fuses back in, and then measured the DC out-put...
There was some life there: The numbers jumped up and down between .7 V and 1.5V (DC)
Probably stray current...?

The charger was plugged in of course, and the cooling fan was running, indicating that the charger had power to it.

Somewhere in there the juice get lost and the solution may be to just pull out the VISA card to restore it.

God and Allah knows I have been screwing with old stuff in the past and restored life to dead cars, motorcycles, outboards, radios, alarm-clocks boats and even lap-top computers.

Now growing tired of it and would rather spend the time sitting at anchor in the Bahamas drinking 'ritas and pondering the next day: Sail...snorkel, or just goof off with food, drinks and bikini girls.

(Wifey ain't reading this forum. I know she ain't.... hope she ain't.... )

So uh, what is my point?

Repair an old battery charger and ya still have an old charger that may need repair in the future...Or suck it up and put a new one in...A recent quote for the Xantrex 40 Statpower is US $ 339.00 plus freight.

Tempted to ship the old one to NZ, then drink 'ritas with the bikini girls in the Bahamas..
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Old 07-12-2005, 01:32   #15
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Mate, I haven't given up on ya yet. Even though I would love the thing, lets give her one more try. Firstly make sure you are switched to AC with the meter. Sorry if this is obviose, I don't mean to be patronising. You should be able to trace Mains AC to from plug to transformer. Check for a primary fuse or braker somewhere. It should have on on primary. If all is OK, on to the secondary windings.
OK, place one test lead on one fuse (transformer side of fuse) and the other lead on the other fuse (Tx side of fuse again). If you get no voltage reading, you have no secondary AC supply.
Right, now disconect from the mains. Set the meter to ohms for a continuity test. Place across the primary winding, then across the secondary winding. Both should give a reading. If you don't, one is open circuit. Now, if the primary is OC, there is often a little temperature fuse just in under the winding insulation on the transformer. It should be where the the ac wires go into the windings and you will note a buldge in the insultaion. If you cut that insulation back a bit, you can by-pass that thermal fuse.
If it's more than that, you probably want to go back to the sunlounger and the rita's.
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