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Old 04-12-2018, 19:02   #1
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Help! Sterling Pro Charge Ultra bit the dust.

There was a lightning strike very close to my boat a couple of days ago and it appears to have created a surge on the power line that's taken out my Sterling Pro Charge Ultra 50A charger, which was connected and running at the time. It's tripping the breaker as soon as it's switched on, so there's obviously an issue in the power supply section.



I called the "local" reseller/repairer and they basically say it's toast and needs to be replaced, so I figure if that's the case then no harm in having a crack at repairing it anyway.


The question is, therefore, has anyone successfully repaired one of these things? All tips appreciated!
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Old 04-12-2018, 20:15   #2
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Re: Help! Sterling Pro Charge Ultra bit the dust.

Contact Charles directly and/or home office tell them you're considering what to do, would ideally like to get it fixed.

If in a hurry buy another meantime wherever but with HO stay "on the fence" to keep some leverage, see if they'll help out.

Doesn't hurt to have a spare, or could always sell one later.

Promariner's the same just a different case I think, but word is Sterling's more servoce minded, especially dealing from a remote international location.
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Old 05-12-2018, 05:45   #3
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Re: Help! Sterling Pro Charge Ultra bit the dust.

Thanks, but a bit too far away being half way round the world and the unit's a few years old. Pulled it apart today and there's no exploded components so that's good. From a research sample of one(!) it looks like it could be a failed bridge rectifier so I'll see if I can find something in the junk box to test the theory with later. Not in any great rush to fix 'cos the boat's out of the water, the solar is all hooked up and I have the original charger as a spare at home.
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Old 05-12-2018, 14:18   #4
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Re: Help! Sterling Pro Charge Ultra bit the dust.

Good luck, Iím under the impression that there is a whole lot of chips in these things, and they are about as repairable as a modern TV.
A lot of that I think is driven by labor costs, pretty easy to exceed cost of new in a repair.
I was surprised to find that my Magnum has a few different replaceable cards, and that these cards are not real expensive.
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Old 05-12-2018, 15:35   #5
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Re: Help! Sterling Pro Charge Ultra bit the dust.

Thanks, I might need it. Not impressed that a pcb full of mostly discrete components is instantly deemed non repairable on what is a relatively expensive charger.
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Old 05-12-2018, 18:30   #6
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Re: Help! Sterling Pro Charge Ultra bit the dust.

The skill level to diagnose the failed part is what is missing, not many people can do that.
I have a friend that is an avionics technician, he has for years fixed very expensive items like video cameras and the like, often with a .25c resistor.
So long as itís not an IC chip anyway.
Some electronics even have a fuse soldered in, and sometimes of course the fuse just blows.
Repairing things is becoming a lost art, try finding someone to resole a pair of shoes for example.
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:33   #7
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Re: Help! Sterling Pro Charge Ultra bit the dust.

Suspect it will be the capacitor on the incoming AC power supply. Likley to be a little round disc on 2 legs, you should be able to trace it on the circuit board. It should show some damage, like a crack or burst cover. If it is damaged you may be able to cut a leg of it and test to see if it stops tripping the breaker, wouldnt use it like this until you fit a new one.
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Old 06-12-2018, 14:12   #8
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Re: Help! Sterling Pro Charge Ultra bit the dust.

Absolutely no evidence of burning or swelling or other damage on any of the caps in the power circuit. A little surprisingly, my multimeter isn't picking up the short circuit so I can only assume it's a either semiconductor breaking down at higher voltages or a crowbar circuit kicking in. I'm going to try the rectifier first because it's an easy swap out, but I will certainly run a test on the caps while I'm at it.
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Old 06-12-2018, 19:54   #9
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Re: Help! Sterling Pro Charge Ultra bit the dust.

Sounds like you may be a candidate for them helping walk you through IDing the fault, bet they'd get the part out to you.

> Contact Charles directly and/or home office tell them you're considering what to do, would ideally like to get it fixed.
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Old 06-12-2018, 19:58   #10
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Re: Help! Sterling Pro Charge Ultra bit the dust.

If this was indeed a surge then my money is on one the surge protectors that are on the AC side of the charger. I am sure the sterling has one or more. When the surge is great they permanently short out to protect the rest of the charger. That would cause the breaker to keep tripping. Clip out the protectors for a temporary fix. Replace them for a permanent one. If the breaker still trips after you pull out the surge protectors than the charger is probably toast and not worth fixing.
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Old 07-12-2018, 04:29   #11
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Re: Help! Sterling Pro Charge Ultra bit the dust.

That's the weird thing. Open circuit with a dmm on diode check. Makes me think voltage breakdown of a semiconductor because even the soldered in jesus fuse hasn't blown.
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Old 07-12-2018, 04:33   #12
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Re: Help! Sterling Pro Charge Ultra bit the dust.

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Sounds like you may be a candidate for them helping walk you through IDing the fault, bet they'd get the part out to you.

> Contact Charles directly and/or home office tell them you're considering what to do, would ideally like to get it fixed.
Cheers. Have you dealt with them personally? I haven't read too many glowing reports on their customer service in general googling; and this Charles fellow seems to be a big reason for that. I know that bad news travels fast and all that, but where there's fire...
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:08   #13
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Re: Help! Sterling Pro Charge Ultra bit the dust.

Iíve had great support from Charles, albeit on a small issue. Give him a try.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:13   #14
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Re: Help! Sterling Pro Charge Ultra bit the dust.

Yes I have found them responsive, but not consistently stellar.

Worth a shot for sure
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