Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 31-08-2009, 14:54   #1
Registered User
 
markpj23's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Black Hills, SD
Boat: Now Boatless
Posts: 1,148
Images: 47
Trace Inverter Problem

Man I love boats....

Nine-year old Trace inverter / charger was working fine until recently. I assume it's original to the boat anyway..

Since we are / were off doing other things for the hurricane season, I bought a low-draw dehumidifier to keep things dry while we were away. The solar panels are able to completely replace the amp-hours drawn each day by the inverter powering only the dehumidifier. I verified this over several days before we left. I am berthed w/o shore power and this seemed to be a good solution. Worst case I figured the inverter would kick out on low battery voltage and just sit there waiting for me to return and reset it.

We came back to find the dehumidifier OFF and the panel lights indicating normal inverter operation. However, the inverter remote LCD display has some garbled letters and recycling has no effect. So I have an apparently dead inverter. Either that or the remote control panel is the problem.

Batteries are 100% charged as the solar system is still working fine. They are new gel-cell units (5 months old). Heart interface still functions normally so I don't suspect we took a lightning strike.

Before I start tearing into it I wonder if others have some tips about where to start (other than the manuals of course...). It'll be another 2 weeks before I'll be able to spend time on this but was hoping for some comments before I do.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions / replies.
__________________

__________________
Mark
markpj23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-08-2009, 15:46   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
Captain Bill's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On the boat
Boat: Endeavourcat Sailcat 44
Posts: 2,313
I had a similar experience with a Xantrex Freedom Jazz Inverter. For unknown reasons it just stopped working. I tried turning it off and back on, etc with no luck. I talked to the service department and jumped through a bunch of their hoops with no luck. Finally while talking to the service rep, I asked him how intellegent these beasts were. I got the proverbial "what"? I went on to explain that I had a background in computer service and under some circumstances one could not simply reboot a computer by the three finger salute or by throwing the big red switch, but sometimes one had to unplug the computer and turn it on to drain all of the power from the system and have it truely off before plugging it in and booting cleanly. He said well they do have a microprocessor so you might give it a try. He suggested after disconnecting the power to turn on some resistance based device (I used my water heater) as they are more tolerant of bad power, to drain all of the electricity from the unit. Since it wasn't working I doubted this added any value but I did it to humor him. He also suggested waiting a half hour in this mode, though on computers a minute always seemed sufficient. To make the long story short, when I reconnected the battery and turned it back on it worked fine, just like there had never been a problem. Before you write this off I suugest you try the same procedure.
__________________

__________________
Captain Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-08-2009, 20:01   #3
Registered User
 
markpj23's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Black Hills, SD
Boat: Now Boatless
Posts: 1,148
Images: 47
Thanks Bill. I'd already thought about disconnecting the inverter from the battery bank to see if that might work as you describe.

I'd rather be lucky than smart any day
__________________
Mark
markpj23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-11-2009, 20:04   #4
Registered User
 
markpj23's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Black Hills, SD
Boat: Now Boatless
Posts: 1,148
Images: 47
Good News, Bad News...

I finally got to look at this today. Turns out that the control panel on the inverter itself is fine, and the unit appears to be working / inverting just fine.

The remote control panel however is still showing garbage characters on the LCD display, but pushing the switches will actually turn the inverter on as it should. You just can't tell what mode the unit is in unless you look at the control unit on the inverter itself.

Called Xantrex support and they suggested that I take the cover off the inverter and swap the ribbon cables for the main / remote control units to see if the problem follows. I'm not a real big fan of the Air Force troubleshooting method (dang this one smoked - bring me another one; dang! this one smoked too - got any more of these?...)

So has anyone ever tried this? What other options.. ? I tied the tech manual procedure to re-sync the displays by pressing the "Reset to Factory Defaults" button, but no luck.

__________________
Mark
markpj23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-12-2009, 10:12   #5
Registered User
 
markpj23's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Black Hills, SD
Boat: Now Boatless
Posts: 1,148
Images: 47
Fixed - But WHY???

OK so I was convinced that the remote display unit was bad. Found one on-line but had to spring for the unit plus the cabling. No big deal - add the cable to the spares inventory....

So I hooked up the new remote (SWRC) and got only the top line of the 2-line display. Hmmm..... OK so try the new cable.... same result. Swapped the new remote with the old one, tried different cable & remote configurations and VOILA! The original da** remote and original cable are working just fine thank you.....

All I can guess is that the cable contacts were dirty, and all the connection / re-connection work I did resolved the problem.

Guess I have another expensive spare. At least I didn't do what Xantrex recommended and remove the whole thing and take it to a service shop....

I started this thread out right.....

Man I love boats.......
__________________
Mark
markpj23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
inverter

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Watermaker - No Trace Elements Kills? MarkJ Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 45 19-04-2009 00:24
inverter problem beau Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 7 02-01-2009 17:18
Trace SW2612 Inverter/Charger problem Nauticatarcher Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 1 20-12-2008 21:02
Marine Electrical Gear For sale Trace Inverter, switches Sea Stewards Classifieds Archive 0 07-04-2008 13:06
Trace U2512SB inverter/charger colemj Classifieds Archive 0 03-01-2008 21:19



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:05.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.