I decided this was the year that I would swap out the WFCO 8955 for the PD4655 with pendant control. The converter/charger is a snap to replace, it slides right in to the WFCO housing, but replacing the 12v distribution board is a little work.
The problem that I had right off the bat was wire sizes...the old WFCO was wired with #6 wire to the battery. I added a #4 wire to the positive side (couldn't get to the original wire to replace it, enclosed underbelly) to reduce voltage drop...the neg side uses the frame so plenty of capacity there.
The WFCO board had nice large lugs to accommodate the #6 wire from the converter to the board and also had room for both the #4 and #6 wires going to battery +.
The PD board only has #10 wires going from the converter to the board, and the battery lugs are much smaller. So, to make it all fit, I had to improvise a junction box in the space behind the converter to terminate the #4 and #6 wires into a single #6 going to the board. Here's what it looks like:
The top left is the #4 from the battery, the top right is the #6 from teh battery, and the bottom is the #6 to the PD board. They are joined by mechanical lug clamps all bolted together with a 1/4-20 bolt and nylock nut.
The completed version has a "blank" outlet cover on it so it's completely enclosed. Will post more pics of teh final mounting place when I have some time.
Hopefully that short run of #6 won't negate the advantages of adding the #4 over the remaining 25' up front to the batteries. Thoughts?
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You can measure any improvement in your converter-battery wiring. Salvo was helping me with this method of his I used.
You use your meter to take the volts from one end of the wire to the other when you know the amps flowing along that wire, and derive the Ohms. (R = V/I) I used a long length of speaker wire with alligator clips on each end of that to extend one of the meter's wires so it could go "across" 25 feet or whatever.
Clip onto the lug on the DC panel inside, and run the speaker wire out the door to the battery bank up front with the meter clipped on and read the voltage.
The amps were from the Trimetric. I got steady amps from the converter by running a load with the inverter and had the converter supplying to replace that so it gave constant amps.
You can try different wires and see any difference in the Ohms, where the object is to reduce Ohms. Any reduction of Ohms anywhere along both pos and neg paths gets you more amps up to the max amps limit of the converter. Once you reach converter max amps, there is no point in further improving the wiring.
You can identify where along the path you are getting all the Ohms from. Just put the meter "across" any portion of that path, short or long. Reading across a fuse can be a revelation how mnay Ohms you can get from bad components or connections. Or improving a ground if it is on the neg path.
The pos and neg paths do not need to have the same resistance. The frame path could have higher Ohms than running a neg wire instead. Or as well, since as seen , the OP is using two wires in parallel for the same path. These wires do not have to be the same gauge--they will share amps in proportion. The safety idea for that is to arrange that any one of those two could carry all the amps if it had to if the other broke. In the OP's case on the pos path , it looks ok, since the original path was safe, and it has been added to with a fatter wire yet.
It is possible the neg path could be improved by adding a wire path in parallel with the existing frame path. The Ohms measurement tells you if you are achieving anything. Also if you can see the Trimetric amps ramp up when you connect the second wire. Before installing, you just connect temporarily running wires out the door and check the Ohms, and if worth it, then you do the permanent install.
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Ouch - I hadnt really looked at the PD4600 series converters. When I re-did my setup I used the PD9200 series COnverter/Charger unit and it had double connectors on the front for additional 4AWG cabling. Worked out like a champ for me with no extra mods...
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BFL, good info and thanks. The original problem was the WFCO never going into boost mode and thus not getting an efficient rechanrge on the batteries from the Honda 2000 when boondocking. With the batteries 25' from the converter, I thought it would make sense to upgrade the wiring first since some reported that fixing the problem. I figured heavier wiring would still be a benefit even if I upgraded the converter.
I didn't get the improvement I had hoped for with the upgraded wiring alone, so "Phase II" if you will is replacing the WFCO with the PD.
I did almost the same change-out as you did. I kept the 8900 series WFCO power Distribution center and relocated the PD9260C converter/charger unit I used as close to the battery bank as I could get it. It ended up just five feet away from the Battery bank.
I didnt have any probs at running 4AWG cable from the WF8900 series Power dist Center to the PD9260C terminals. Then with the second set of terminals on the PD9260C I wired on to the battery bank connections.
I like you never could get the WF8945 Converter/Charger unit to go into 14.4VDC charge mode. Even after i ran #4awg cable it still would not go into 14.4VDC charge mode (It did go into 14.4VDC mode for about 5-10 second one time).
The PD9260C works like a champ. It will go into 14.4VDC mode as soon as you turn it on or you can select it to go into any of its smart mode charging with the pendant. I measure 52 AMPS feeding the batteries when it first starts up in 14.4VDC charge mode which of course starts dropping rather quickly as the batteries start charging back up. it settles down to around 6-8 amps for the remaining two hour charge at 14.4VDC. Then it steps down into the 13.6VDC charge mode and the current drops to 2-3 amps I think it was during this cycle. I can re-charge my three GP24 batteries to 90% charge state in the 3 hour window just fine.
I removed the original #8 wire I think it was that was originally used between the WF8900 Power Dist Center wiring to the batteries. My change-out was a very easy job to do... The saving grace for me was the doouble large 12VDC connectors i guess. Seems to me the WF 8900 circuit board also had double 12VDC connector on it as well... Been a few years since Ive done mine.
I also put the BLUE SEA 9001E switch contact stubs to good use here too.. Give me a place to make connections using my 4AWG cables. I also used ANCOR Marine 4AWG cables and bought my own ring terminals and crimped them on using one of those 8-ton Hand Crimpers I picked up from ebay. I think Northern Tools sells the same one. ($59). much easier for me to cut my own cable from 25-foot spools and put my own ring terminals on. Cables Dressed up real nice... Used heat shrink that had the glue inside of it for a great water tight fit around the ring terminals.
I am not having any trouble at all using the WF8900 series 12VDC fuse panel with the PD9260C Converter/charger unit.
I did something similar when I swapped my old WFCO to a 4655. I used #4 as an upgrade and used a split bolt inline on the #4 to the old #6. I just removed about a half inch of insulation, added the split bolt and then used some insulating tape. Works great.
Finally finished up the install yesterday. Went ahead and put in the new board, decided not to use the pendant right now. Here's a pic of the battery connection box in plqace with the cover on. It's zip-tied to the gray tank vnt just to keep it from flopping around.
Here's the new unit installed in the WFCO housing:
We are in boost mode!
My 120V panel only had 5 breakers, the bottom one was a blank and the converter was wired as a double-tap on another general purpose breaker. Since I had the room, and happened to have a 15A breaker in the supply closet, I added another breaker just for the converter.
Interesting point: when I got everything connected and fired up, the 4655 did not go into boost on its own...nor did the fan come on. The batteries had been disconnected for a week and voltage was showing 12.69 when I got them back online but before I powered up the converter.