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Old 12-05-2009, 20:25   #1
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Freedom 10 Inverter / Charger

The old freedom 10 inverter charger on our boat began operating very erratically and as it was 14 years old it was time to replace it. We bought a new freedom 10 and 4 new group 31 AGM's ( 2 banks ). I replaced the old with the new including new battery cables, class T fuse, and 120v wiring. I followed the manufacturers instructions and recommendations. I have not yet purchased the remote control for the unit but I have left the shunt in place from the old remote installation.
Both the charger and inverter operate normally with one exception. Sometime after the charger reaches it's float charge it will shut off. There are no led's indicating overtemp or overcurrent. The battery voltage is normal. The shorepower voltage is normal. I have rechecked all connections. If I press the charge button it will come back on as if nothing happened. I have had no success contacting Xantrex. Has anyone seen anything like this before? I would really like to know if it is something I have done wrong or if the problem is with the unit.
I would appreciate any information anyone may have.

Richard
S/V At Last
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Old 12-05-2009, 20:39   #2
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I have called them via landline and they have been very helpful.
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Old 12-05-2009, 20:54   #3
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You also might want to put a substantial load on your batteries...turn everything 12 volt on...and see if the charger comes back on.
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Old 13-05-2009, 03:57   #4
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Thanks chief.
I spent about 10 minutes getting through to someone at xantrex only to have him keep saying that it was an external problem and to check my wiring. I have sent 3 emails setting up a case through their website since April 26 but have had no response.
That is an interesting idea about putting a load on the batteries to see if the charger comes back on. I say that because the charger does seem to stay on longer when we are on the boat using more loads as opposed to when we leave the boat and only the refrigeration is on. Or it could be my imagination.
What has me puzzled is that the owners manual states that once the charger reaches a float charge it will stay there indefinately, which I thought was the whole idea behind the 3 stage charging process.
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Old 14-05-2009, 05:16   #5
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The Freedom 10 charger should settle at float and not turn off. I wonder if your previous Freedom 10 had a problem or not seeing you still have a problem of sorts with the new one.

Erratic and other unexpected behaviour of these inverter/chargers in both or one of invert or charge mode can be caused by poor contacts in the DC side cabling and isolating switches. Maybe that is why Xantrex are pointing you to the external circuitry.

Assuming all contacts in the cabling are already known to be fine have you checked the DC isolating switch for burnt contacts - these can precipitate incorrect behaviour of the inverter. If checking it needs to be a visual check.
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Old 14-05-2009, 11:27   #6
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Gulfstar1,

I have worked as a repair tech for Xantrex inverter/chargers and though the unit is new, you could very well have a bad control board inside the unit. The new cards are being manufactured in China and the quality control has not been so great. I have even seen new units come in with a strange sound occuring everytime the fan comes on. This is simply a lack of quality control and all it requires is a pair of scissors to trim the insulating paper away from the fan.
I would also advise placing the remote in ASAP because you have to program it for the type of batteries you are using. I am pretty sure Xantrex inv/chargers come factory set for wet-cell batteries. NOT GOOD IF YOU ARE CHARGING AGM. Place the remote in, program it and see if the inv/charger still acts up. If so, I would bet you that the control board is bad.
Oh yeah, good luck with contacting Xantrex. You would have better luck contacting the international space station.
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Old 14-05-2009, 19:41   #7
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MidLandOne,

Thanks for your response. I have not done a visual inspection of the isolation switch contacts. I have bypassed the switch and connected directly from the charger/inverter to the batteries with the same result. Everything seems to operate normally with the exception of the charger shutting itself off for no apparent reason. The intermittent problems are always the toughest to diagnose.

CorrinaCorrina,

I'm not thrilled about your comments on xantrex' customer service but the point is well taken. I don't like to condemn parts without checking all other possibilities but I'm starting to lean towards a defective component in the unit as you have suggested. There is a procedure for setting the battery type on the freedom 10 without the remote installed which I have done. I am ordering a remote but I don't have a lot of faith in that solving the problem.

Thank you both for your help.

R&D
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