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Freedom 458 20D COMBI Inverter/Charger

charging inverter freedom

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#1 radiow3ww

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 09:54 AM

Hello Group,

 

I apologize for the questions. This is my first post and out of desperation.

 

I have a 2000 Dutch Star 38' Cat Engine on a Freightliner Chassis.

 

Newer Lyght LPT-50 Transfer Switch, Freedom 458 20D Heart Combi inverter/charger with the Heart Interface Remote Control Panel.

 

My problem is:

 

Batteries will not charge from inverter/charger on 50AMP shore power or Generator. They will charge from running the engine via the alternator. Last night batteries were at 7.8 volts and running engine 15 minutes brought them up to 12.8. This morning 12 hours later they were at 11.7 with only the systems I don't know about running. I shut everything down except I did not put it in storage mode.

 

The remote control panel says all is ok. When hooked to shore power control panel far right LED says 50 amps incoming breaker, on far left AC IN LED on, charger light on. On the front of inverter green charge light is on. Checked all circuit breakers and no apparent problem there. Battery state shows correctly on panel.

 

Could the huge fuse between the charger/inverter be blown ??  How would I check it ?  That fuse is between the charger and battery bank ( Four Newer- 2 year old Crown 6V in series ) . This fuse is behind the batteries bolted to the wall directly behind the Batteries. I have cleaned most of the battery terminals particularly the one tied to the charger. They are all tight and clean.

 

I thought I may have had a bad battery cell, but now I'm not so sure.

 

Any suggestions would really be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Don Mohney


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#2 wolfe10

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 03:01 PM

Don,

 

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

 

Easy way to tell if that large fuse is bad-- shore power off, generator off, inverter on:  if inverter powered 120 VAC items in the coach such as microwave work, the fuse is good.

 

If that is good, next question is whether 120 VAC is getting to the inverter from the main 120 VAC breaker box.  Flip the inverter breaker (in the breaker box) off and back on-- see if it was tripped. There is also a breaker on the inverter itself.   There is also a fuse (may be more than one) in the inverter.


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#3 DickandLois

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 03:31 PM

Don,

 

Welcome to the forum!

 

Always good to have another member posting and asking questions ! Think you may be a Ham from your moniker and asking questions is kind of a way of life for a Ham.

 

Do you have the owners manual for the unit ?

If not this is a link to a PDF copy that should cover you model.

 

http://www.xantrex.c...1-01_rev-2).pdf

 

Rich.


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#4 radiow3ww

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 09:32 AM

Hello Brett & Rich,

 

Thank you for the information.

 

I checked (flipped) all circuit breakers and none seemed open. The fuse on the front of the 458 was not "pushed out" or did not need re-set. The central A/C works with shore power. It works with shore power until voltage drops, which I believe causes the wall thermostat to give up. Refrigerator works on Electric until the voltage drops below 10.0 on batteries.

 

I checked the big fuse with a Multi Meter and from each side of the fuse to ground was 12.7 Volts thus I presume it is OK. ( that was after charging the batteries from the engine alternator). At that point I checked each of the four batteries and they each were at 5.97 Volts. After 8 hours two were at 5.65 and two were at 3.85 Volts. Total was around 9.5 at the point of going to the inverter/coach. The Heart Interface Panel in the coach was also showing 9.5. I took the battery cable covers off the inverter/charger and noted 9.5 with the charger on and off. The green charge light was working on the front of the 458, no red lights. The Interface panel inside was showing the charger was on and working.

 

Would two possibly bad batteries out of 4 cause the charger to not function.

 

I am going out now and run the engine and charge the batteries turn on the inverter and check for 120 at the outlets. It seems we have not had 120 in the coach since the charger stopped functioning.

 

Thanks Again for the Help,

 

And, yes Rich, I am a Ham Radio Operator  ( W3WW )

 

Don Mohney


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#5 radiow3ww

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 04:34 PM

Today I purchased and installed 4 new house batteries as 2 older Crown batteries were in below average to poor condition. Now the inverter inverts great, everything works with 110 to the wall outlets. As soon as I crank up the generator all goes dead after about 5 seconds. Plugging into the shore power, inverter still works great until I engage the charger then all goes dead.

 

Looks like I have no AC power to the inverter. I've checked all circuit breakers and the fuse on the front of the 458 Combi Inverter/Charger (only have one on this model). Is it possible the charger part of the 458 is shot?

 

Is it possible to have a loose wire or am I looking in the wrong direction ?? Is there a bypass relay in the Inverter ? Where does the 220 coming in convert to 120 ?? I checked the transfer relays and 220 in and 220 going out to the coach.

 

Sorry for all the questions, but I'm really stumped.

 

Thanks,

 

Don Mohney


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#6 DickandLois

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 10:17 PM

Don,

 

Good to know that you are a Ham operator. Helps me have a better understanding of your skill sets.

 

The fact that the 4-6 volt batteries are connected in a series / parallel configuration, one bad cell in one battery will drain the batteries.

There is a bypass relay in the unit, this allows you to have AC power to the 2 circuits running from the inverter when it is turned off.

 

Allot of things going on, so I created a list to work from so all know what and where tests have been made. I know you have run some of them and a yes, no, a voltage or other response to the item list will sure help get everyone on the same page:

 

1- You replaced all 4-Good starting base line.

 

2- The AC and refrigerator worked until the voltage dropped to 10 volts. This is a voltage level that is below the needed voltage for them to work. Normal!

 

3- The batteries are charging when the engine is running. That is a good start!

 

4- Your coach is wired with a  50 Amp service, this means you have 2-120 volt feeds. Often referred to as L1 and L2. The Charger / Inverter in your coach requires 120 volts at 30 amps.and is connected to ether the L1 or L2. Coach  builders choice!!

 

5- So check the shore power cable for any issues with the Neutral and Ground circuits in the cable ends, running a continuity test; between the ends of the cable for all 4 circuits.

 

6- Check the circuits from the J box at the coach for the shore power connection to the AC breaker panel.

 

7- Check and see that all the connections are tight at the J box and the breaker panel.

 

8- Locate the breaker that feeds the 458. look for good tight connections

.

9- with power going to the inverter, there are 2- 120 volt 20amp breakers that power 2 circuits inside the coach. These supply power to the Microwave and one other circuit for the front TV and a couple of other outlets. These outlets should have 120 volts when the inverter is running, with no shore power or the generator is not running.

 

10- turn off the inverter portion of the charger. With AC coming from shore power or the generator, read the Dc voltage across the 4-6 volt battery pairs.

 

You should should read close 14.5 volts DC. and the Red LED on the controller should be light; but only for a short time. Then the Yellow LED should come on. Then after a  period of time can be an Hr. or more. the green LED will light.

NOTE. any interruption in the charging cycle will cause the 458 to go through the complete cycle again.

 

11- If you do not read the 14 plus voltage at the batteries when the charger is running. Disconnect one set of the 6-volt batteries from ground. This leaves you with just 2-6 volt cells in series, rerun the test again. Run the same test with the other 2-6 volt batteries grounded and the ground from the first set disconnected.

 

What readings do you get ? the same or different?

 

12- Get the same reading on all the tests, then disconnect the common ground for all 4-6 volt batteries and read the charger voltage. What is that reading.

 

13- What is the condition of the wire and connections for the thermocouple connecting the 458 to the batteries?

 

14- Post the results and we will go over the battery wiring configurations for the 4 -6 volt batteries and the 2 chassis batteries.

 

Questions, are you using a copy of the owners manual that I supplied the Link for ?

Do you have a Power Driven power cord reel in the coach ?

 

 

Rich.


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#7 radiow3ww

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 08:23 AM

Hi Rich,

 

Thank you for the check list.

 

I will go through it as soon as I am able. I have to work today so it will be tonight or tomorrow.

 

Can I check the power to the 458 by removing the bottom front panel on the 458 and doing a direct check at the 120 line going into it? It appears like the relay is not working that should switch from inverter 120 to shore or generator 120 inside the coach. All appliances and outlets work well until I inject shore or generator power.

 

I do not have a reel for the power cord. Coach is plugged into a 50 amp outlet that I had an electrician install several years ago. It checks out fine. Last night with the A/C running and nothing else (Central A/C from 220 I presume) I think only the thermostat draws from the batteries. The voltage at the batteries is down to 12.4. Was 12.7 when installed. Normal ?

 

I did get the manual, thank you. I also have the original manual from the Freedom 458 Inverter/Charger.

 

Thanks Rich,

 

Don


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#8 radiow3ww

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 09:47 AM

Rich,

 

Is the J Box a Junction Box? Where is that ??

 

I've got 2 circut breaker boxes in the coach over the bed in rear. One looks like a residential unit and one looks a tad smaller.


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#9 DickandLois

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 01:57 PM

Don,

 

The J box used for the shore power cable connection at the coach is generally a 4in.X4in. electrical box. Right behind the shore cable - coach end. There is also one used to interface the generator wiring to the coach wiring, mounted on the front firewall on most Diesel coaches. It is a good idea to make sure the screws in that box  are tight every now and then, seen some of those connections fried !!!

 

Regarding the extra electrical box, Hum !!!

 

It sure would be nice if all the coaches where wired the same, but then that would eliminate have the fum ! If one is into that kind of thing !

OK, are there circuit breakers in the second smaller box? and what is the breaker current rating and how many ?

The bigger of the boxes should have 2-50 amp breakers and each one of them supply power to half the load in the camper.

Like one AC on L1 and the other on L2 and so on. The microwave is supplied from one of the inverter breaks, plus one circuit for the front TV and a few outlets in the kitchen and dining area as a general rule. Might have one hot outlet in the bathroom area also ???

 

Rich.


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#10 radiow3ww

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 07:40 AM

Rich,

 

I believe that box at the shore end of the cable is the Lyght LPT 50CA Transfer switch. That was the first place I went. That looks new and is working great. Tested w/meter and 240V in and 240V back out and into the coach.

 

The circuit breaker boxes are 1) The big One... 50AMP Main: with A/C, Water Heater, Inverter, Washer-Dryer, Ref, Block Heater and Freezer

2) Small one 30AMP Main: with Microwave, Appliances and Lights

 

Between the two circuit breaker boxes is a block or bank of 14 automotive style fuses. I have pulled all and they appear OK. None are or at least don't seem to be related to the inverter. 

 

New Batteries are hanging in at 12.4V based on the Heart Interface Remote Control Panel. As you may recall, the Remote control LED is showing AC into the inverter. Power Share LEDs on the panel are Showing 50 Incoming Breaker AMPS, Inverter Off as I'm hooked to shore.

 

I have not been able to run some of the battery checks as it has been raining cats and dogs with plenty of lightning. Typical FL summer WX.

 

Thanks Rich for your time. I have noted from lots of older posts you have helped many people with issues.

 

Don  W3WW


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#11 DickandLois

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 09:07 AM

Don,

 

The smaller box, the one with the 30 Amp main is the breaker for the power input for the 458. The other breakers are for the microwave, Appliances and lights when on shore power. Three breakers in total in the small box?

 

Thinking there is a transfer switch somewhere that connects the 2-120 volt output circuits from the inverter(when it is on) to the Microwave, Appliance / lighting circuit.

 

They all work, so that system seams to check out.

That leaves the 458 charging circuit to get some information on that portion of the wiring. Not done yet, but the list is getting shorter ! The box with the 14 12 volt Automotive style fuses feeds 12 volts to the coach system, appliance control boards and 12 volt lighting.

You might be able to get some wiring information / drawings from customer service for the coach. They are handy to have on file.

 

Enjoy trying to help others and pass along some information learned from owning Coaches since 1973. They have added allot of features. Nice to have, but also creates a greater learning curve for everyone !

 

Rich.


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#12 jbell

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 04:04 PM

Sounds as though you may have a blown by-pass fuse in the inverter. You say when the generator/shore power is available you have no ac in the coach at the invert locations. There is a 1/2 amp fuse inside the inverter that bypasses the invert mode when ac is available gen/shore. If this fuse is bad the inverter will supply ac in the invert mode but will not when shore /gen is on.

  Good luck


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#13 radiow3ww

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 06:43 PM

Sounds like I need to take the inverter out and check that fuse.  I just metered across the circuit breaker in the main panel for the 458 and have 121V with the charger off and on.

 

I do have the service manual for the 458 which I found on the internet. I recall reading about a small fuse on one of the two circuit boards that if its blown, the charger will not work.

 

I will pull the 458 and go for that fuse when I can. I will keep you posted.

 

Thanks again Rich,

 

Don


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#14 radiow3ww

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 08:05 AM

Rich, one more question!!!

 

When removing the 458, can I bypass it by connecting the input 120 to the output 120 wires, just like the 458  was not there. That way I would have 120 in the coach when plugged in to shore power ??? I would keep the house batteries charged with the engine if needed.

 

Is this possible ??

 

Thanks,

 

Don


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#15 DickandLois

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 08:18 AM

Don,

 

Good question!!

 

The key for your coach is that second, small breaker panel that appears to be in the inverter circuits in general.

I would advise being certain the 2-120 volt circuits the inverter supplies have circuit breakers to protect you and your investment. Should you decide to jump them into the shore / generator circuit while servicing the 458'

 

Install a junction box for the connection point!!!

 

Rich.


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#16 Emorley

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 10:58 AM

Any guidance on where I can find a wiring diagram for a 1998 Safari Serengeti?
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#17 DickandLois

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 02:19 PM

Emorley, How close does this look to your coach.

The information is out of print and getting hard to find the information anywhere.

 

http://jexler.s3.ama...20InputDist.pdf

 

Rich.


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#18 radiow3ww

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 03:49 PM

Rich,

 

I pulled the inverter and proceeded as you advised. Bypassed through an extra circuit breaker worked fine to get shore power to the coach. I'm now in the process of troubleshooting the 458. I'm beginning to think the big relay is shot and that may not be fixable. All interior fuses were ok.

 

Let me thank you for all your time and advice. It's great knowing someone is willing to take the time as you have to help a newbie.

 

Thanks VERY much Rich,

 

Don


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#19 DickandLois

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 04:52 PM

Don,

 

Check the Xanrtex service center index, There is a repair center in N.C. run by an X Navy / ET. Might not be the weekend to travel there with the big blow arriving!

 

Good man and he replaced the main logic board in my 458. Still working better then ever. That might be due to the changes in the software on the new board.

 

Rich.


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