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Charger not Charging

joraz
Explorer
Explorer
Heart Interface Freedom 20 Inverter-Charger

This is original equipment on a 97 class A. A month or so ago I noticed that the batteries were not being charged. I checked the breaker and reset the breakers on the charger, neither of which appeared to be thrown. Anyhow, I unplugged and plugged in a couple of times and the charger came on. All has been well (parked and plugged into a 30a box) until today. I noticed that the charger wasn't working. Everything else is fine (all outlets, microwave, etc.).

Now for a bit of weirdness. I unplugged and tried the inverter with the microwave. I watched the amp draw from the batteries on my Trimetric. It moved up to 80, 90, 100, 125 (that's where it would normally stop) and just kept going. I didn't get it shut down until it had reached around 200 amps! Then the autostart on the generator engaged and tried to start. Anyhow, everything still worked fine and the inverter-charger was not hot on its exterior. I tried the inverter again (with my finger on the microwave stop button) and it operated normally.

So... the charger has quit but everything else works when plugged in, when unplugged and when on the inverter. Do I need a new inverter-charger? Thanks.

Just thought of another info item. The panel for the Freedom 20 was blinking an error code. The book says that indicates Thermal Shutdown and recommends cooling and cycling power switch. The error is not showing now; it indicates charging but is not.
jor
09 LazyDaze
11 REPLIES 11

joraz
Explorer
Explorer
I'm going with the Magnum 2812. Will order today (ouch!). Thanks to all.
jor
09 LazyDaze

joraz
Explorer
Explorer
If you have a battery temp sensor

Don't have one.

when my Trimetric went crazy

Never even considered that! It certainly provides a possible solution to a once only event as the inverter works fine now. I have been connecting/disconnecting the batts several times (cutoff switches) and maybe that little guy reset.

Anyhow, everything works fine except the charger so I'm going to bite the bullet and get another. I'll go with an inverter-charger rather than replacing just the converter as the box is 20 years old. Guess I'll get a Magnum. I need to do some research. The Freedom is a modified sine but I think I'll go with a pure sine. Expensive things; that's for sure.

Any recommendations on what to get if not the Magnum? Thanks to all.
jor
09 LazyDaze

BFL13
Explorer II
Explorer II
That amps runaway reminds me when my Trimetric went crazy, can't remember if it was amps or volts that ran up. I was swapping around solar controllers at the time. I thought it was the solar controller, but it was the Tri. I undid the Tri's power at the twist battery fuse and then put the fuse back in. Tri behaving again. No idea what set the thing off. I never called Bogart tech support to see if they ever heard of such a thing as "Tri Runaway" 🙂
1. 1991 Oakland 28DB Class C
on Ford E350-460-7.5 Gas EFI
Photo in Profile
2. 1991 Bighorn 9.5ft Truck Camper on 2003 Chev 2500HD 6.0 Gas
See Profile for Electronic set-ups for 1. and 2.

Chris_Bryant
Explorer
Explorer
If you have a battery temp sensor, try disconnecting it. They can fail, making the unit think the batteries are too hot, which shuts the charging off.
-- Chris Bryant

joraz
Explorer
Explorer
I am just guessing of course, so IMO check the true state of those batteries.


They look good. The rig has been unplugged (fear) and all batts disconnected for 14 hours. The coach batts are 12.8 and the start batts are 12.7.

When I plug it in the charger does not come on. I changed the dip switch on the control panel so I could turn the charger on manually - still no go. I suppose I'll have to get another charger.

The thing I was really worried about was the runaway amperage draw. I wasn't able to see the voltage drop as the Trimetric shows only one function at a time but the amps skyrocketed like there was a short circuit. When I tested it a second time, however, it operated properly. Thanks.
jor
09 LazyDaze

BFL13
Explorer II
Explorer II
When you unplugged and ran the inverter on battery, the batteries didn't hold up. Did you notice their voltage when they were supplying that 200 amps? What is the set-point for the gen's auto-start? It must have got down to that voltage at least.

You say they were "fully charged." It is possible for a battery to be full but have reduced capacity so "full" is not what it was when new.

I am just guessing of course, so IMO check the true state of those batteries.
1. 1991 Oakland 28DB Class C
on Ford E350-460-7.5 Gas EFI
Photo in Profile
2. 1991 Bighorn 9.5ft Truck Camper on 2003 Chev 2500HD 6.0 Gas
See Profile for Electronic set-ups for 1. and 2.

joraz
Explorer
Explorer
With your shaky battery situation, the DC voltage fell, your amps went way up, and the gen auto start voltage setting was hit. Gens run from the house batts, same as the inverter, so it is noteworthy that the gen even started with the batteries like that.

Not sure I understand this. Both the coach and start batteries were fully charged. Before today, the charger was charging the house batts at about 13.3 - 13.4v and I have a Trik-L-Start to keep the new start batts charged too. BTW, the genny did not start; it was just turning over. I am doing some work on it and had the control box disconnected.

First thing, check with your meter on the output terminals of the converter for 12 volt charging voltage. You should have 13.5 there.

On the Freedom 20 inverter/charger there aren't any external terminals. The darn thing is in a compartment and it's hard to get at too It is definitely not even on - no humm. It sounds like I might have to pull it out of there.

Re loose connections, I know the coach batts (2 8Ds) are good and tight but I will check all other connections closely tomorrow.

Hadn't thought of just getting a charger. Anyhow, I'll check those connections and hope for more ideas too. Thanks.
jor
09 LazyDaze

Artum_Snowbird
Explorer
Explorer
First thing, check with your meter on the output terminals of the converter for 12 volt charging voltage. You should have 13.5 there.

If it is there, you may just need to find the loose connection between the converter and the batteries. It could be the positive, or it could be the negative.

When it happened to me, when I actually wiggled the negative connection on the converter, suddenly the interior lights got bright, and I found my loose connection.
Mike
2012 Winnebago Impulse Silver 26QP
2005 16.6 Double Eagle
2018 Jeep Wrangler JK
previously Snowbird Campers,
Triple E Motorhome and Fifth Wheel

time2roll
Explorer II
Explorer II
If the inverter works... consider just getting a 60+ amp converter to do the charging.
If the inverter fails just get a stand alone inverter.

BFL13
Explorer II
Explorer II
The inverter works but if the charger part is acting up you can just get a new converter/charger and still use the inverter. Save some money there.

Inverters have "amps creep" IE they try to keep the power steady, so when the input battery voltage drops, the inverter draws more amps.

With your shaky battery situation, the DC voltage fell, your amps went way up, and the gen auto start voltage setting was hit. Gens run from the house batts, same as the inverter, so it is noteworthy that the gen even started with the batteries like that.

You can buy a deck mount converter and put it near the inverter and tap into the inverter's fat wires, so the converter shares those fat wires, allowing it to do its full amps.
1. 1991 Oakland 28DB Class C
on Ford E350-460-7.5 Gas EFI
Photo in Profile
2. 1991 Bighorn 9.5ft Truck Camper on 2003 Chev 2500HD 6.0 Gas
See Profile for Electronic set-ups for 1. and 2.

ScottG
Nomad
Nomad
Yes, it's time for an upgrade.
Look at you r converter and then check out Bestconverter.com for a 3 stage unit. I suggesty a Progressive Dynamics PDI 9260 or better.
Your battery's will thank you.