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About tcolburn

  • Birthday 02/22/50

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    Chicago's South Suburbs

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  1. We went through pretty much the same sequence with our Norcold 1200 last year. Installed the ARPRV unit, replaced the circuit board, deleted the "black box"... and still kept having to reset the refrigerator when running on LP. We received a lot of useful advice, most of it from members of this forum (thanks again to all!). We ended up going to JC Refrigeration in Shipshewana and they replaced our rusty old cooling unit along with the gas burner and (as long as they were in there) the electric heating elements. We kept our circuit board. Since then, no trouble! Turns out that the gas burner was probably the main culprit; it corroded and got clogged and then didn't provide enough heat, according to the techs at JC. For peace of mind we went with the full cooling-unit replacement since ours was pretty rusty. We had considered a residential replacement, but decided that the flexibility of having both AC and LP operation, and not having to modify the cabinet work and electrical system in the coach, made the cooling-unit replacement option a better one for us. --Tim C.
  2. OK, I'm back, with good news! I spoke to tech support at Xantrex in Elkhart. The young man I spoke with suggested that I should add a resistive load and check the reading again. He said if I saw 134 VAC or less I should be fine. So, I plugged in a trouble light with a 75W bulb and checked the voltage again: voila--126 VAC! Apparently there is nothing wrong with my inverter after all. I learned a lot from this episode, and I want to thank you all for helping to get me pointed in the right direction. Hope to meet in person one day. --Tim C.
  3. Carl, I'm not hooked up to shore power at home. That photo was just to verify that the meter is working all right on a known-good power source. Now, the idea of checking inverter output with a surge suppressor (I have a portable Progressive 50A EMS) is interesting. Seems like I should be able to plug it into one of the outlets served by the inverter with suitable 50-30-20A adapters, and get a reading, just as I do when I plug into shore power at a campground or my garage outlet at home. Of course, if the EMS doesn't like the modified sine wave, I wonder if I could end up damaging it... So my next step, when I get home, will be to try calling Xantrex, then go from there. The adventure continues! --Tim
  4. Update... so I went out and found a "true RMS meter" and tested the inverter output with it. First photo shows the result: "generic" voltmeter= 158 VAC; RMS voltmeter= 147.7 VAC. Still too high, I think... (Incidentally, the RMS meter does show that the current is 59.99 Hz, so the frequency appears to be OK.) Second photo, just for reference, shows house current at my home: 124.3 VAC. For what it's worth, the TV works on this high voltage! But I'm not going to use the inverter till I can get a complete diagnosis. Probably will call Xantrex next week to see what they say. Thanks again to all who have been following this thread and offering your advice and opinions. I'll keep everyone posted.... --Tim C.
  5. Thank you Rich (and everyone else!), for the warning and explanation. The meter I was looking at is one of those digital plug-in ones. I'll take my other DVM over tomorrow and see what I can discover. --Tim
  6. Ah, I forgot about the modified sine wave. No, none of my meters has a "True RMS" setting, but if I can find one that does I'll try it and report my results. Meantime it sounds like the inverter's probably working all right. When I've used it before I never bothered to check the output, but the TV and microwave always worked.... Thanks! --Tim
  7. Our coach is equipped with a Xantrex Freedom 458 inverter/converter. I've rarely used the inverter function. Yesterday I turned it on to test my TV antenna cable and noticed that my digital plug-in voltmeter was reading 157 volts at the inverter-powered outlets!! Kinda scary, so rather than damage anything I shut off the inverter and used the generator instead (voltage reading was the normal 120 volts, so it's not the voltmeter). Is this a symptom of a failing inverter, or might there be an incorrect setting that I can access to get the inverter output voltage down to the right level? Thanks for any guidance. --Tim C.
  8. When we first got our coach, I found a broken drawer latch. After a search on Google for "cabinet drawer latch", I found a hardware distributor that had the exact replacement latch I needed and it was not expensive (I ordered two, 'cause you never know...). You might find what you need at a place like Grainger. Good luck! --Tim C.
  9. Hello, everyone. My understanding is that the 96th FMCA Family Reunion is being scheduled for Indianapolis some time in July, 2017. So far I have not been able to find any confirmation of the dates. Any news yet? Thanks. --Tim C.
  10. Hmm. Ignition switch? --Tim C.
  11. Thanks to everyone on this forum who contributed their thoughts. What an incredible resource this group is! I just wanted to bring some closure to the discussion now that we have finally gotten our system repaired. Joe's comments about being safe particularly resonated with us. Ultimately, my wife and I decided to get the cooling unit replaced with a Dutch Aire, and we went to JC Refrigeration in Shipshewana, IN to have it installed. As part of the package, we had new electric heaters, new fans, and a new LP burner included. Everything now works as it should--I ran the fridge on LP for over 20 hours and the cooling is just as good as it is on AC. And, yes, the fans do run when it gets warmed up! We now have the peace of mind that the old, rusty, unit is out of our coach, plus we still have the flexibility of using LP when electric power is not available (like for cooling the refrigerator overnight before a trip). Hope to meet you guys in person one day! --Tim C.
  12. Well, I'm back. I decided to do a better job of cleaning the burner assembly, so I disassembled it (and in the process damaged the gas line between the valve and the burner, so I had to fabricate a new one, but that's another story...) and got a bit more crud out of it. Reinstalled it, and also put in a higher capacity 12V fan. Started up the unit, hoping to be home free. Nice big blue flame, and the temp on the ARP's readout eventually got up to 183 C, close to what I would see when it runs on AC. :-) But then the temp settled back down to 172 C, just as it would show before when running on LP. I let it run for several hours anyway, and when I came back, I had "no co" flashing on the display again. I don't think it completed an entire cooling cycle before it shut down. :-( I spent some quality time this morning reviewing the Norcold Repair Manual (that Wayne had sent a link for--thanks, Wayne!). Next stop: thermistor. I didn't do a full check on it before but I had verified that the resistance does change with temperature, and besides, it seems to do just fine when the refrigerator is running on AC. But I'm going to try disconnecting the thermistor for my next attempt, since the manual says if the thermistor is disconnected, the Cooling Unit Monitoring Control (which is apparently what's shutting off the heater) will not activate, and so the cooling unit might run long enough to make the refrigerator section start to cool. (I have been seeing a temperature drop in the freezer section, by the way, so I know that the thing is working a little bit, a least!) After that, I guess I'll have to pull the fridge out and look at the air ducting and stuff (even though, again, it works just fine under AC operation). I'm certainly learning more than I ever expected to learn about absorption-cycle refrigerators! DW is being tolerant of this learning process, but I think she wants to tell me just to buy a new cooling unit, or entire refrigerator. However, I am the cheapest guy on my block, and I want to fix it myself if at all possible... I'll be back when I learn some more, and/or (I hope) when I've found a solution! I appreciate everyone's input and observations, for sure! --Tim C.
  13. Hi everyone. OP here with an update, and another question. Long story short, it turns out that the fans, which are 12v-powered, DO run when the refririgerator is in LP mode--but only if the unit gets hot enough, which doesn't seem to happen all that often (see below). Here's what I've done since my post back in May: Replaced original Norcold circuit board with Dinosaur board. Not much change in fridge behavior except that it's much easier to reset when the unit goes into "no-co" mode. At the same, I deleted the Norcold "recall device" since it had an intermittent habit of randomly shutting off power to the main board even when the heaters were still cold--and I have an ARP-RV controller installed anyway for overheat protection. Installed an interior circulation fan (manually switched) which does help to keep the refrigerator section cooler but doesn't prevent the "no-co" mode from occurring when the fridge is trying to cool from startup using LP. Installed an additional exterior cooling fan (harvested from an old computer) in order to increase airflow to the evaporator. I set it up to be manually switched with the interior fans. Still doesn't prevent "no-co" on LP. So, I set the ARP device to show the heater temperature. On AC power, it consistently reads 185 C (365 F) and the fridge works great. But on LP, the heater apparently only gets up to 172-174 C (342-345 F). I am thinking that the LP burner just isn't producing enough heat to make the cooling unit work efficiently enough. Am I on the right track? I've cleaned a bunch of dirt and rust out of the burner area, and the flame looks blue like it should, but maybe there's an adjustment I need to make? Thanks, everyone, for your advice on this and other topics. And I hope you're having a good time in W. Springfield. Hopefully I can meet some of you in Indy next year. --Tim C.
  14. Had the same problem with dash air on our '04 Revolution 40C. Our local friendly car mechanic checked it, found the refrigerant was low, and added some more. Dash air has been working fine for about 2 years since then. --Tim C.
  15. Joe, I am here at the FMCA MAC Rally in Amana, and ended up being parked right next to Joe from Cabin Bright. I've been intending to convert my brake and turn signal indicators to LEDs for a while now, so it's just serendipity that I read your post this morning! Went right over to the vendor area, met Joe, and purchased the lamps. They're a direct plugin replacement, and they work perfectly on our coach with no modifications. Thanks! --Tim C.