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Old 09-07-2009, 01:30 PM   #1
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Xantrex-shore power fault codes

Hi all

I have looked through the archive and didn't see anything on this. I've also looked at the Xantrex owner manual and installation manual.

Here's the problem. I just installed my Xantrex Truecharge 2. Lifeline battery holds a charge. at 12.something (its been charging off the alternator for a while).

Main power cable from alternator to battery, charger hooked up and grounded, starcool powered, AC powered.

All loads are turned off.

When plugged into shore power through SMB GFIC, it appears to charge fine and gives "ready" and "charging" indicating that the battery is fully charged. All is good.

While still plugged into shore power, I turn on Starcool (engine off) and it runs fine. Inside fan runs and cools and fan near radiator runs. But I get two fault codes on the Xantrex. Flashing "AC" and flashing "fault."

The only condition for which those two faults coincide is for "AC input out of range Warning (<104V and >255V)"

Do others get the same fault when running the AC off the shore power? I can't think of any reason the AC voltage would drop. I've got a long (30 foot) power cord but it is heavy gauge.

Any advice or speculation appreciated.

Thanks

Tom
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Old 09-07-2009, 01:40 PM   #2
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Re: Xantrex-shore power fault codes

Is the Xantrex invertor sub-system running? (as opposed to the charger, both or nothing)

What is your powershare set at?

When you say "When plugged into shore power through SMB GFIC" what exactly does that mean? I didn't think the GFIC outlet was between the shore power and Xantrex, only between them and the outlets. (e.g. even if the GFIC was tripped the Xantrex would still be getting shore power and charging the batteries, but none of the 110v outlets would work... not sure about that though)
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Old 09-07-2009, 03:48 PM   #3
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Re: Xantrex-shore power fault codes

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Originally Posted by jage
Is the Xantrex invertor sub-system running? (as opposed to the charger, both or nothing)

What is your powershare set at?

When you say "When plugged into shore power through SMB GFIC" what exactly does that mean? I didn't think the GFIC outlet was between the shore power and Xantrex, only between them and the outlets. (e.g. even if the GFIC was tripped the Xantrex would still be getting shore power and charging the batteries, but none of the 110v outlets would work... not sure about that though)
Not sure I can answer your questions but here's a shot. I only have the charger, no inverter. The charger is plugged into a GFIC that came from the factory. So the only power to the charger is when it is plugged in and the van must be plugged into shore power. I don't think I have anything called powershare.

The former charger that came originally with the SMB was wired to plug into the GFIC so I just duplicated the setup with the new charger.

I can turn off the 120v circuit breaker to the plug/charger and run the starcool and fridge fine off shore power. That may be the answer. Just don't try to run the appliances at the same time I am charging. Seems wrong though.

Tom
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Old 09-08-2009, 01:37 PM   #4
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Re: Xantrex-shore power fault codes

I would try to plug into shore power and test the voltage at a plug inside the van without anything on.

Turn each item you normally use on one at a time and record the voltage at the same plug after each item is turned on. At any case the voltage should never drop below 114V.

If it does drop below 114 inside the van then duplicate what you did but take voltage at the shore power pedistal and compare the voltages for each item you turn on. Good voltage at the pedistal should be in the range of 118 to 122 but it depends on the shore power system. A 2 or 3 volt drop should be OK for your extension cord provided there is enough at the pedistal. (Never coil your power cord when in use).

I would not run the Starcool below 116 myself (Inside voltage) and Danhard themselves suggested avoiding low voltages when I talked with them. (Danhard made the Starcool) If your charger is detecting voltage below 104 the shore power may be a fault.
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Old 09-08-2009, 01:46 PM   #5
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Re: Xantrex-shore power fault codes

Thanks. I'll check it out. I'm not all that well informed on 120v theory. Does 120V voltage drop with a longer cord or inadequate wire gauge?

I'd be really surprised if it were below 104V.

Tom
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:28 PM   #6
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Re: Xantrex-shore power fault codes

I know longer extension means more resistance, which means voltage drop (how much I have no clue) and heat- and I think heat is the thing that makes a small gauge extension dangerous (they should be able to carry the voltage but not the heat)... but I don't know, I never did good in EE and I plug all kinds of stuff into 100'+ extensions, and that's through a garage which is completely wired through a ceiling light in the opposite end of the house...

If you can try a different outlet on a different circuit, drive to a buddy's and try an outlet at his place, and if that doesn't change anything try to find a place where you can use a short extension cord (good excuse for an overnight at a campsite). If you eliminate the 120v source and the extension cord as culprits that might put you closer to a solution (or that your conclusion about running the appliances at the same time- but that doesn't seem right at all).
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:53 PM   #7
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Re: Xantrex-shore power fault codes

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedog225
Does 120V voltage drop with a longer cord or inadequate wire gauge? Tom
You bet Tom. Between low voltage and the load you're putting on, it might take it into the danger zone. This can harm the Starcool or shorten its life. Best to monitor the voltage. But it could be other problems as well. Start by comparing the voltage inside and out.

Most RV places offer RV extension cords that can handle what a SMB requires. But you need a minimum of a 30 amp shore power pedistal to run what you are trying to run (all at once). If you are plugging into a standard type house plug at a pedistal chances are that it's rated for 20 amps max and more likely 15 Amps. A 30 amp plug is like the one on the van. If you have a buddy that has a 30 amp plug-in do like Jage said and try that or go somewhere else that has a service like that.

A house type plug can run a microwave or charger fine but not the starcool and definately not several other items with it.
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Old 09-27-2009, 08:58 PM   #8
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Re: Xantrex-shore power fault codes

Thanks all.

I finally got finished with the under the bench work. After I installed the new GFIC, I tested the voltage. 123 volts when the charger was on but 109 volts when the starcool was on also.

That explains the Xantrex codes.

So plugging into a house type plug is never going to be an option for running the starcool? That doesn't seem right.

[edit]-I can just unplug the charge when plugged in and want to run the AC...doh!

Tom
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:02 PM   #9
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Re: Xantrex-shore power fault codes

Hey Tom, be careful. Most household plugs are rated for no more that 15 amps. Have you ever seen those space heater plugs get so hot they start to melt because the owner runs it on high 24-7? Just make sure the plugs male and female ends can handle the load of the Starcool. I found that a 20 amp service is not enough for the Starcool. Don't over-amp the circuit. Pushing a 20 amp breaker at 19 amps isn't a good idea and make sure the voltage stays no lower than 117 to be safe when the compressor kicks on. Now if you said you don't plan to run the Starcool rather only the charger that MIGHT be different. Most chargers don't pull that much. I think you can get a larger set such as a 20A version but you still need to know what you're pulling.
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:48 AM   #10
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Re: Xantrex-shore power fault codes

I didn't know the Starcool drew that many amps. Seems like my window unit AC in my home cools about as well and it is fine on a household plug.

(Ok-I just went and measured it with a little harbor freight device) It's strange (to me) that my home window unit ac only draws about 3.8 amps. I'll go measure the starcool when I get the chance. I don't know why it would be such a high draw appliance....

I've got a "spare" 220 volt line in the attic that used to go to the stove before I converted to gas. I bet I can have an electrician split it back out into a single, high amperage, 120 plug.

Thanks for the help.

Tom
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