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Open Roads Forum  >  Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)

 > Dual Stage Thermostat Upgrade

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anoldman

Middle Tennessee

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Posted: 03/07/12 04:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just replaced the old Coleman Mach thermostat in my camper with a White Rodgers two stage, model 1F83-277. I found this thermostat on eBay for about $15, and it pretty much eliminates the fan speed issue that the Hunters have. It operates on AA batteries just like the Hunter too.

Here's the good part: When I switch to cooling the low speed fan comes on if the set temp is within about 3 deg of room temp. If the difference is more the high speed fan kicks on automatically and runs until the unit shuts down. This thermostat will also automatically switch between heat and cool, so if you're in an area with wide temperature fluctations that'll come in handy.

The only drawback I've seen is there is no manual control of the high fan speed. When running just the fan it is always on low, but I doubt that will ever be an issue to me.

My setup is a Coleman ducted AC and Suburban propane furnace, but I'll bet this could be easily adapted to other units. Here's the wiring connections I used to make it work on my system:

12V Power > Coleman RED Wire ------ W/R R Connection
Ground > Coleman BLUE Wire ----- W/R C Connection
Furnace > Coleman WHITE Wire ---- W/R W1 Connection
Fan High > Coleman GREEN Wire ---- W/R Y2 Connection
Fan Low > Coleman GREY Wire ----- W/R G Connection
A/C Compressor > Coleman YELLOW Wire --- W/R Y1 Connection

In the setup menu for the thermostat I choose Multi Stage (MS 2) and set the internal switch to ELEC.

I am very pleased with this modification and hope it will prove useful to others as well. Happy Camping!

UPDATE:

I originally left the BLUE wire disconnected but later tried connecting it to the W/R C Connection and the thermostat now works without batteries!

* This post was last edited 03/13/12 08:05am by anoldman *   View edit history

WyoTraveler

Northwest, Wyoming

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Posted: 03/08/12 08:04am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Did you get the complete instructions along with the thermostat?

Try the below web site PDF file.

http://www.alpinehomeair.com/related/White-Rodgers%201F83-277%20Install%20Instructions.pdf


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anoldman

Middle Tennessee

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Posted: 03/08/12 08:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yeah, they even sent me batteries along with the instructions for the thermostat. They were a little hard to follow though since that one is made for several applications. Most of it was pretty straightforward except for how to make the high speed A/C fan come on based on the temp difference like I wanted. I was pretty sure a two stage would do the job for that and it did.

I was hoping the thermostat would run off of 12V instead of AA batteries but no luck there. Thinking about finding a transformer to wire in to the battery connections so I don't have to think about them again. Anybody done that?

* This post was edited 03/09/12 08:25am by anoldman *

Lady Fitzgerald

Tempe, AZ, USA, Earth

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Posted: 03/08/12 10:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

anoldman wrote:

...Thinking about finding a transformer to wire in to the battery connections so I don't have to think about them again. Anybody done that?


I haven't actually done that but you could go to a thrift store and find a 3v wall wart (power supply that plugs directly into a 120v outlet) and wire that in. I would suggest using temporary connections so if the t-stat fails during warranty, they won't give you grief over the mod.

I'm not so sure it is worth doing, however. You would have to find an outlet to plug the wall wart into and route the wiring to the t-stat. I have a 15 year old programmable White-Rogers in my mobile home that uses three AA batteries. I currently have alkalines in it that are well over a year old; I typically get between one and two years from a set. For me, it just wouldn't be worth the time, expense, and hassle to convert it to run from 120v (or even the 24v AC already running to it).

I've pretty much discontinued the use of alkalines in favor of prechargeable NiMH AAs and AAAs (when the few alkalines I still have in use die, I'll replace them with Eneloops)).I've had excellent luck with Sanyo's Eneloop prechargeable NiMH (prechargeables hold their charge far longer than conventional NiMH, even when not in use). I have a couple of LaCrosse smart chargers that do an excellent job of charging them without cooking them and are capable of doing various diagnostics and reconditioning operations (haven't needed the extra features yet, though). The alkalines in my t-stat are getting a bit tired (no low battery warning display but one can tell when the display starts to fade) so I'm going to pop some Eneloops in there soon. I'll still probably get at least a year of operation from them before having to exchange them for some freshly charged ones (I keep a large number of spares so I can swap them out when they run down from use and recharge them at my convenience).


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anoldman

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Posted: 03/08/12 10:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the info on battery life. I'm surprised they last so long. I figured they'd last a month at best and I'd use up a bunch of batteries keeping it going. Think I'll forget about that and worry about more important things...
Happy Camping!

* This post was edited 03/09/12 08:28am by anoldman *

nm1oqrz

Trumbull CT

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Posted: 03/10/12 02:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello all. If you find a transformer that works on DC let everyone know. Without some kind of switching of the DC voltage, transformers are worthless for voltage conversion.
Happy camping nm1oqrz

Snowman9000

IL

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Posted: 03/10/12 03:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

anoldman wrote:

I just replaced the old Coleman Mach thermostat in my camper with a White Rodgers two stage, model 1F83-277. I found this thermostat on eBay for about $15, and it pretty much eliminates the fan speed issue that the Hunters have. It operates on AA batteries just like the Hunter too.

Here's the good part: When I switch to cooling the low speed fan comes on if the set temp is within about 3 deg of room temp. If the difference is more the high speed fan kicks on automatically and runs until the unit shuts down. This thermostat will also automatically switch between heat and cool, so if you're in an area with wide temperature fluctations that'll come in handy.

The only drawback I've seen is there is no manual control of the high fan speed. When running just the fan it is always on low, but I doubt that will ever be an issue to me.

My setup is a Coleman ducted AC and Suburban propane furnace, but I'll bet this could be easily adapted to other units. Here's the wiring connections I used to make it work on my system:

12V Power - Coleman RED Wire - WR R Connection
Ground - Coleman BLUE Wire - WR NOT USED
Furnace - Coleman WHITE Wire - WR W1 Connection
Fan High- Coleman GREEN Wire - WR Y2 Connection
Fan Low - Coleman GREY Wire - WR G Connection
A/C Compressor - Coleman YELLOW Wire - WR Y1 Connection

In the setup menu for the thermostat I choose Multi Stage (MS 2) and set the internal switch to ELEC.

I am very pleased with this modification and hope it will prove useful to others as well. Happy Camping!


Great find!


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anoldman

Middle Tennessee

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Posted: 03/10/12 06:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was looking for a way to power the thermostat by reducing the 12V down to 3V and wiring it into the battery connections (2 AA's = 3V). My thought was to maybe salvage an old car cell phone charger and use that.

However, I found something else that's even better. This thermostat will run on 12V DC! I assumed that it would not so I didn't even try until today. All I did was to connect the blue ground wire to the C terminal on the WR thermostat and it works! The back light comes on and everything works fine on 12V. I even removed the batteries to be certain and ran the fan, heat and A/C to test it out.

I'm not certain if this will affect the life of the thermostat, but since I only have $15 invested I'm not too concerned. If it all holds up, and I think it will, this will definitely be the best $15 I've spent in a long time!

Happy Camping!

Lady Fitzgerald

Tempe, AZ, USA, Earth

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Posted: 03/11/12 11:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

anoldman wrote:

I was looking for a way to power the thermostat by reducing the 12V down to 3V and wiring it into the battery connections (2 AA's = 3V). My thought was to maybe salvage an old car cell phone charger and use that.

However, I found something else that's even better. This thermostat will run on 12V DC! I assumed that it would not so I didn't even try until today. All I did was to connect the blue ground wire to the C terminal on the WR thermostat and it works! The back light comes on and everything works fine on 12V. I even removed the batteries to be certain and ran the fan, heat and A/C to test it out.

I'm not certain if this will affect the life of the thermostat, but since I only have $15 invested I'm not too concerned. If it all holds up, and I think it will, this will definitely be the best $15 I've spent in a long time!

Happy Camping!


Ok, that is just too cool! One thing that might be interesting to do is to put a volt meter across the battery terminals to see what the voltage there is; it's possible the thermostat is regulating the voltage. In any case, I'll be looking for an update down the road to see how this is holding up.

Thanks for taking the trouble to share all this! I've copied what you've written to a Word file for future reference.

anoldman

Middle Tennessee

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Posted: 03/11/12 12:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, I checked across the thermostat battery terminals (sans batteries of course) and got a reading of 2.89V. Apparently the thermostat is regulating the incoming 12V properly. That was a useful bit of information and it gives me greater confidence in the longevity of this upgrade. I'll be sure to post back if I do have any problems with this setup.

Thanks for the suggestion and Happy Camping!

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