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Topic: Autoformer

Posted By: rfsod48 on 04/13/15 08:29pm

What would be the proper sequence of using an Autoformer and a surge protector from coach to post?


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Posted By: Golden_HVAC on 04/13/15 08:47pm

Plug in the autoformer to boost the voltage. Then plug in the surge protector. It will shut off the RV at a low voltage, so if that was plugged into 105 volts, it would be cutting off the power when it really does not need to - because you have the autoformer.

Good luck!

Fred.


Posted By: pianotuna on 04/13/15 09:05pm

pedestal, autoformer, surge, rv


Regards, Don
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Posted By: MrWizard on 04/13/15 09:14pm

moved from technology corner


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Posted By: mlts22 on 04/13/15 09:44pm

I have wondered about getting a cheapie surge protector between the pedestal and the autoformer just for something to eat a spike or surge, but doesn't bother with low voltage shutoff.


Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 04/13/15 10:26pm

Cheapy surge protectors have a tiny MOV. They react so slowly the transient voltage spike already passed right on through. I'm getting ready to order some bi-directional TVS transient voltage suppressors. Maybe I'll write up a little ditty. Lots of MOVS connected phases to neutral neutral to ground and TVS wired in parallel do something for a living beside lighten the wallet.


Posted By: Executive on 04/14/15 12:46am

pianotuna wrote:

pedestal, autoformer, surge, rv


This is how mine is set up....Dennis


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Posted By: Lynnmor on 04/14/15 04:23am

Some autoformers have built in spike and surge protection. I don't know how effective they are, but I see no need to add a surge protector ahead of the autoformer. Adding a surge protector after an autoformer that has protection may not help much. I have read that you should not stack surge protectors in this manner.






Posted By: wa8yxm on 04/14/15 06:32am

Golden_HVAC wrote:

Plug in the autoformer to boost the voltage. Then plug in the surge protector. It will shut off the RV at a low voltage, so if that was plugged into 105 volts, it would be cutting off the power when it really does not need to - because you have the autoformer.

Good luck!

Fred.


Though mine (When I use the surge protector) is temporarly the other way around..... Let me join the chorus of the above singers.

Future plans includ installing the portable Surge Guard unit (This is easier than it sounds) AFTER the already installed Autoformer.


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Posted By: wa8yxm on 04/14/15 06:58am

Lynnmor wrote:

Some autoformers have built in spike and surge protection.


Spike protection yes
Surge.. I have never seen one with Surge protection.. Just Spike.

That said there is ONE autoformr that can buck overvoltage (Surges) as well as boost under voltage (Brownout) I can never remember the brand..But a surge protector AFTER it is still a good idea since on both BOOST and BUCK..It has limits and I have seen campgrounds that test those limits.


Posted By: rfsod48 on 04/14/15 08:27am

Thanks for the help!
Roland


Posted By: NinerBikes on 04/14/15 08:30am

I don't worry about surge or spike protectors with my Honda Eu2000i generator while dry camping. Should I be worried?


Posted By: Bobbo on 04/14/15 08:52am

If your control board goes out, you can get over or under voltage. Highly unlikely, but possible.

Find some of the threads that discuss whether to put a built in EMS before or after an ATS.


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Posted By: AllegroD on 04/14/15 02:11pm

mlts22 wrote:

I have wondered about getting a cheapie surge protector between the pedestal and the autoformer just for something to eat a spike or surge, but doesn't bother with low voltage shutoff.

This will work if you want cheap coverage. My appliances cost to much to replace to trust to cheapo. Progressive Industries for me.

Executive wrote:

pianotuna wrote:

pedestal, autoformer, surge, rv


This is how mine is set up....Dennis


Ditto.


Posted By: Lynnmor on 04/14/15 03:14pm

wa8yxm wrote:

Lynnmor wrote:

Some autoformers have built in spike and surge protection.


Spike protection yes
Surge.. I have never seen one with Surge protection.. Just Spike.

That said there is ONE autoformr that can buck overvoltage (Surges) as well as boost under voltage (Brownout) I can never remember the brand..But a surge protector AFTER it is still a good idea since on both BOOST and BUCK..It has limits and I have seen campgrounds that test those limits.


I don't know how great the performance is, but this is what I got from the Hughes website:

Experience performance and reliability with The Hughes Autoformer RV2130. 30 amp Low Voltage boosting transformer.

Hughes Autoformers are the only U.S patented Voltage boosting solution available today. All others are imitations.

• 30 Amp – 3,600 Watts capacity
• Fully automatic 10% boost when needed
• Park power diagnostic light
• Boost indicator light
• Spike and surge protection
• Size: 12”H x 5 ½“ W x 5½” D
• Weight: 21 Lbs.
• Two-year limited warranty
• Made in U.S.A.


Posted By: 2oldman on 04/14/15 03:28pm

NinerBikes wrote:

I don't worry about surge or spike protectors with my Honda Eu2000i generator while dry camping. Should I be worried?
Until it gets hit by lightning, no.


Posted By: TechWriter on 04/14/15 03:31pm

Lynnmor wrote:

Some autoformers have built in spike and surge protection. I don't know how effective they are, but I see no need to add a surge protector ahead of the auto former.

Frank's Voltage Booster doesn't say anything about spike or fault protection.

The Hughes Autoformer Manual says it will protect from "various spikes and surges" -- but, like Frank's, it says nothing about protection from electrical faults, like an open neutral.

PowerMaster says it "Protects all of your electronic devices against spikes and surges up to a direct lightning strike". Hubba hubba.

TRC's Voltage Regulators do not protect against spike and surges, but are open neutral "tolerant" (i.e., an open neutral won't fry the regulator).


Lynnmor wrote:


Adding a surge protector after an autoformer that has protection may not help much. I have read that you should not stack surge protectors in this manner.


I think as you can see from above NONE of the autoformers/voltage regulators above offer any electrical fault protection, except TRC's which is just for an open neutral.

I went with TRC's "solution" which was an expensive 50A fault indicator ("indicator" not protector) + 50A Voltage Regulator + 50A Surge Guard Fault Protector.


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Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 04/14/15 05:36pm

I found through actual disassembly and looking very few "Surge Protectors" are worth a plugged-nickel.

THERE ARE Z-E-R-O DEFINITIONS OF "SURGE PROTECTOR" THAR PROTECT YOU THE CONSUMER! NONE! NADA!

Some have one single tiny metal oxide varistor that wouldn't protect a Steinway piano from a chimpmunk fart, fifty feet away. When on-line the "protection" these con-artist products afford cannot be seen on an oscilloscope.

I notice that some companies like Tripp- lite gave joule ratings as if a joule rating is the last word in transient protection definition. That would be like advertising the specifications for an RV battery by giving forth only Reserve Capacity.

A decent Surge Protector would have a 25K joule pack of varistors wired phase to neutral, phase to earth, and neutral to earth...

THEN

Gas tube disharge devices (2) wired phase to neutal and phase to earth.

PLUS

Bi-directional TVS transient voltage suppressors. Avalanche rectifiers
Phase to neutral and phase to earth.

Not as good of cleaning-up as an isolation transformer but it's light-years better than the huckster garbage I see on the market.

But a handful of MOVs by themselves don't cut it. MOVs do a specific job and that's it and that isgrossly inadequate.

Why don't you write one of the stepped autotransformer companies and ask them if they use gas discharge devices or avalanche TVS devices in their products? I'd love to hear their full-of-BS replies.


Posted By: TechWriter on 04/14/15 05:41pm

MEXICOWANDERER wrote:

I found through actual disassembly and looking very few "Surge Protectors" are worth a plugged-nickel.

Which ones did you disassemble?


Posted By: rfsod48 on 04/14/15 06:36pm

This is getting very confusing to me. Are there any electrical engineers on the member list who might be able give data proven advise? To surge protect or not, to Autoformer or not?


Posted By: pianotuna on 04/14/15 06:59pm

rfsod48,

If you have a 30 amp service, surge protection is less important.

If you have a 50 amp service, an open neutral can fry everything in your RV. Progressive Dynamics top of the line would be my choice.

Far more items are damaged by brown outs than by surges.

For the best protection, be "off the grid" and go large solar. Probably you have to give up air conditioning.

For second best, use an autoformer followed by a top of the line surge unit. Again Progressive because of their life time warranty.

You should check the power source before you plug in, not afterwards, even if you do have protection.

Here is what would do:

1. check voltage under load (both legs if 50 amp)
2. check polarity
If that passes then
3. plug in surge device
If the surge device gives a "green light"
4. unplug surge and plug in the autoformer
5. plug surge device into the autoformer.


Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 04/15/15 02:22am

The Hughs were crumbly toast but they are autotransformers. A surge protector is a strip or box that has receptacles on it. Gas tube discharge devices are discrete as are TVS suppressors. Theyare not expensive. I have a 50 dollar strip surge protector gift that I took apart and it has a lousy 4 MOVS inside. Oh yeah and a nickle sticker bragging about a fifty thousand dollar insurance guarantee.

In the early 2000's I spent several days in a Mazatlan RV Park that had a couple dozen rigs with their ACs cycling. The sine wave on my Tektronix looked likeca relief silhouette of the Rocky Mountains. Spikes to 550 volts.

MOVS react too slowly to be of much use. An isolation transformer works best but coupling TVS with gas tube discharge components worked about several dozen times better than straight MOVs. When anything hit 190 volts peak-to-peak it gets CLAMPED. An autoformer transformer by itself offers 0.000% TVS protection as one leg is NOT isolated.

A DC fed 3.0 Kw UPS of course would offer the ultimate transient and voltage protection.

GOOGLE if you wish
Surge protector MOV TVS gas tube discharge
And follow the links.


Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 04/15/15 02:43am

rfsod48 wrote:

This is getting very confusing to me. Are there any electrical engineers on the member list who might be able give data proven advise? To surge protect or not, to Autoformer or not?


Three issues

Voltage control

Bad wiring protection

Damaging electrical spikes

Using an autoformer is a very good idea but many misunderstand and believe autoformers are the ultimate in protection. They by themselves are NOT. Transient voltage protection is also vital.

Go ahead and get your autoformer. And yes, I am an electrical engineer a documented MEE. And cranky as hell. I am trying to educate folks and quash folklore myths.

Something to chew on. THE FAILURE RATE OF PORTABLE ELECTRONICS IS MUCH HIGHER IN A RIG THAN FOR THE SAME APPLIANCE IN A HOME e en when using voltage correction devices. This is especially true of rigs that stay in RV parks or public campgrounds. There are reasons why...


Posted By: wa8yxm on 04/15/15 03:31am

I will try to make it simple.. Many devices called SURGE PROTECTORS are spile suppressors.. A genuine surge (Been there) they sound a lot like firecrackers on Independence day. As I said.. Been there.

Surge Guards or Energy Monitors like the Progressive Industries HW-50-C or PT-30C (you may swap HW and PT on both models) monitor the voltage, if it goes too high or too low. they cut you off, If you plug one into 240 volts where it should be 120 (Common when plugging into 30 amps) you can burn up your electronics (This is a SURGE) they will refuse to connect you (less you override them) In short they WILL protect you against many common issues.

Now.. The autoformer: It tries to compensate for low voltage (And in one case high) BUT it has limits.... I have seen campgrounds where the voltage went so low as to TEST those limits.

Thus Park---Autoformer---Surge Guard----RV is your best hookup.

HOWEVER... NOTHING is 100% A very sudden high speed spike (Read that lightening strike) can blast past everything and nail you.

Where I am we seem to have an issue with power flickers..This is where power goes out for like 1 second then come back on. If this happens when the A/C is on the compressors are trying to re-start with a full head of pressure.. NOT GOOD.. So the Surge Guard holds power off for nearly 3 full minutes and a second timer holds the A/C compressor off for a bit longer.. By that time (By the time the compressor re-starts) the pressure has bleed off so it's a normal re-start. And that.. Since parking here I have had it happen 3 or 4 times.


Posted By: TechWriter on 04/15/15 10:55am

TechWriter wrote:

MEXICOWANDERER wrote:

I found through actual disassembly and looking very few "Surge Protectors" are worth a plugged-nickel.

Which ones did you disassemble?


One more time . . .

Which ones did you dissemble?


Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 04/15/15 11:11am

TRIPP LITE, HUGHES AUTO FORMER, BELKEN for starters. An autoformer whose name was obliterated. About ten or so of the above brands PLUS many other brands whose names did not register. Then I gave up. You gotta brand-name up your sleeve or what?


Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 04/15/15 02:06pm

Do I believe in these things? My rig and umbilical house here has a 3Kw Sola ferroresonant line regulator coupled to a 107 lb full isolation transformer.

Lightning protection is provided by a pair of copper bars paralleled .125" apart with a 1-watt 100k resistor connecting the two. The phase is connected to the service drop L1 and the other to earth ground. This provides an enticing ionization path. Only 10-AWG is needed. Everything is soldered together. Lightning steers by ionization feeder leads milliseconds before the main pulse. This circuit has proven itself multiple strike diversions in the high Sierras. The diversion circuits were vaporized.

I can state for a fact my circuits allow sensitive electronics a lot longer lifespan. Some may sneer at a $200 cost for a microwave oven. My microwave costs $600 and I do not have the money to replace it bearing an arrogant attitude. Same for all my electronics.


Posted By: rfsod48 on 04/15/15 03:17pm

I totally agree I don't want to have to replace things. My expertise is not engineering thus all my questions. I think my first purchase will be a surge protector and a voltage meter. If at that point I see I am encountering low voltage problems I will get on Autoformer.
Thanks for your expertise


Posted By: Monaco Montclair on 04/15/15 03:21pm

Now I use them sur first, and auto second , way I do it , now it's all happy-camping


Posted By: TechWriter on 04/15/15 07:00pm

MEXICOWANDERER wrote:

TRIPP LITE, HUGHES AUTO FORMER, BELKEN for starters. An autoformer whose name was obliterated. About ten or so of the above brands PLUS many other brands whose names did not register. Then I gave up. You gotta brand-name up your sleeve or what?

Franks? PowerMaster? TRC's Voltage Regulator?


Posted By: TechWriter on 04/17/15 07:16pm

TechWriter wrote:

MEXICOWANDERER wrote:

TRIPP LITE, HUGHES AUTO FORMER, BELKEN for starters. An autoformer whose name was obliterated. About ten or so of the above brands PLUS many other brands whose names did not register. Then I gave up. You gotta brand-name up your sleeve or what?

Franks? PowerMaster? TRC's Voltage Regulator?


I'll interpret your silence as a "No".


Posted By: time2roll on 04/17/15 07:47pm

If spending money today I would have a PowerMaster first, then TRC or Hughes, and very very last is Frank's.

What happened to Power Master web page? was www.powermasterrv.com afaik



If one air conditioner is the primary concern consider a TrippLite LC2400 on the branch circuit.

http://www.tripplite.com/line-conditione........r-conditioner-ac-surge-protector~LC2400/


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Posted By: pianotuna on 04/17/15 09:22pm

Hi,

The triplight seems to be more fully featured than the others. Too bad is is only 2400 watts.


Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 04/18/15 08:16am

TechWriter

I AM IN MEXICO NOT MINNEAPOLIS.

GET TO THE POINT

Arecyou saying Power Master TRC Franks brands use TVS, avalanche rectifiers? Gas tube discharge transient voltage control systems? If they do come forth and spit it out. "Such and such unit does indeed have TVS devices.

AUTOFORMERS ARE VOLTAGE CONTROL OR MODIFICATION DEVICES

AUTOFORMERS ARE NOT COMMONLY CALLED SURGE CONTROLS DEVICES

And if the voltage control device has nothing but a couple of MOVs then it is near worthless for severe transient voltage spikes Both positive and ngative oriented.

Clue me in

SO YOUR BRANDS HAVE TVS CIRCUITS? YES, OR NO?


Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 04/18/15 08:31am

TechWriter

I AM IN MEXICO NOT MINNEAPOLIS.

GET TO THE POINT

Arecyou saying Power Master TRC Franks brands use TVS, avalanche rectifiers? Gas tube discharge transient voltage control systems? If they do come forth and spit it out. "Such and such unit does indeed have TVS devices.

AUTOFORMERS ARE VOLTAGE CONTROL OR MODIFICATION DEVICES

AUTOFORMERS ARE NOT COMMONLY CALLED SURGE CONTROLS DEVICES.

Each does a specific and much needed job of protection.

But an autoformer can maintain 120.00 volts and if it has little or no transient voltage suppression capability it will allow both positive and negative voltage spikes to pass which eat transistors and integrated circuits for lunch. The HUGHS units I dug through with a stick looked like a small PC board supported three small MOVS and three small MOVS do not offer even a modicum of protection against severe power line disturbances. Aapliances

And if the voltage control device has nothing but a couple of MOVs then it is near worthless for severe transient voltage spikes Both positive and ngative oriented.

Clue me in

DO YOUR BRANDS HAVE TVS CIRCUITS? YES, OR NO?


Posted By: thestoloffs on 04/18/15 08:39am

smkettner wrote:

What happened to Power Master web page? was www.powermasterrv.com afaik


That was the correct URL, but they failed to keep up their payments to GoDaddy.com for the domain license.

Their major distributor is RV Performance Products, so you might try them for information on whether PM is still in production.


Posted By: TechWriter on 04/18/15 09:20am

MEXICOWANDERER wrote:


Are you saying Power Master TRC Franks brands use TVS, avalanche rectifiers? Gas tube discharge transient voltage control systems? If they do come forth and spit it out.

When you make statements like "very few 'Surge Protectors' are worth a plugged-nickel," is it any wonder that someone would want to know exactly which ones are worth a plugged nickel?


Posted By: pianotuna on 04/18/15 10:39am

Hi Tech,

While I'm sure there are surge devices that are good, there are none that meet my particular needs. The low voltage cut outs are too low for my peace of mind.

Right now I have neither a surge device nor an autoformer. If I were going to get something, the autoformer would be more useful to me.

Folks who have 50 amp service should use the best they can afford. For myself, on my 30 amp service, I'll continue to manually check before I plug in the RV.


Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 04/18/15 11:12am

An informed consumer asks questions. The right questions BEFORE HE BUYS something.

My ***** is that the word SURGE SUPPRESSOR is being used as a buzzword. "Buy a SURGE SUPPRESSOR and all your troubles go down the drain".

With batteries, charging systems and electrical devices I try my hardest to educate anyone willing to listen to ask THE RIGHT QUESTIONS. I am poverty-stricken so trying to play the part of CONSUMER REPORTS is ludicrous, financially as well as logistically.

I have ZERO SYMPATHY for anyone who is aware of controversy in hypermarketed gizmos who is too lazy to pick up a telephone and call the manufacturer or distributor of a device whose value is hundreds of dollars. It is their choice. Not mine.

It is also not the least responsibility of my own to do ten minutes of research for someone. It COSTS MONEY to telephone a company from Mexico and it takes time. I do it when I have questions about a purchase. Someone who has ten times the income as myself who is too lazy to telephone a non twenty-dollar telephone call deserves what he gets.

I point out an extremely valid weakness in electrical protection circuitry. A vulnerability that can cost a consumer many hundreds of dollars short term and a small fortune in long term shortened lifespan of components.

I explain how and I explain why, in plain English. If some folks could care less then it's their pony and western. In the process someone says "Hey wait! The Fratchamajigger 3000 has those things, then we all learn and benefit.

Too many companies engage in sleazy or ignorant engineering and manufacturing practices. Buzz Words are slung around like BS in a barn. When I manufactured alternators I played things on the straight and narrow. When I tested batteries when I spent a King's Ransom on R&D for pulse desulfation, I played things on the straight and narrow. No hyperbole, no gibberish, and no salesmanship.

It really frosted my orbs when I disassembled a fifty-dollar gift (my birthday) SURGE SUPPRESSOR and found thirty-cents worth of MOVS. The area is a plain ripoff. Genuine suppressors should have around seven dollars (retail) worth of LARGE MOV's, a five dollar GAS TUBE DISCHARGE component and a buck's worth of TVs connected to line, neutral and earth. These are retail prices. OEM gets a tremendous price break.

Tech Writer if you are serious about Helping - can you contact the companies you inquired about and find out if they are even willing to reveal IF they have anything more than a few MOVs inside them?

Other HELPFUL contributors can telephone HUGHES and other voltage correction device manufacturers and do the same thing. DO YOUR AUTOFORMERS CONTAIN GAS TUBE DISCHARGE AND/OR TRANSIENT VOLTAGE SUPPRESSOR DEVICES?

I for one will be interested in their replies. I will be especially interested to hear "Oh those things are not needed in our miracle device"


Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 04/18/15 01:03pm

Here are a few useful links:


https://www.bourns.com/pdfs/bourns_gdt_white_paper.pdf


http://www.protekdevices.com/Assets/Documents/Technical_Articles/ta1003.pdf


http://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/resistor/varistor.html

Three companies, three components and each will emphasize the need for their particular components. The gas tube discharge device can handle currents that would blow a TVS diode or varistor clear out of the rig and over the hill.

The MOV is a good device but reacts too slowly to protect against positive and negative spikes that slowly but surely erode silicon junction integrity and drill holes through electrolytic capacitors.

The Transient Voltage Suppressor is an avalanche diode. It has a breakdown voltage an avalanche voltage. When that voltage is reached it shunts across the junction. For AC use two diodes are contained in one device each facing the other. A TVS reacts instantly but has a limited current carrying capability for sustained events.

The object of using all three devices is that one compliments the other two. I choose 190-volts for the TVS rating bcause the rating has to factor peak-to-peak and not RMS voltage.

The gas tube discharge device can handle an enormous amount of sustained current.

But NONE of these devices can do a thing for continuous high (or low) voltage. For that a voltage correction device like an autoformer is indicated.

For exquisitely delicate electronics, a full isolation transformer is the filter of choice, but again, such a transformer is a filter and not a voltage correction device.



Posted By: TechWriter on 04/18/15 01:52pm

MEXICOWANDERER wrote:


Tech Writer if you are serious about Helping - can you contact the companies you inquired about and find out if they are even willing to reveal IF they have anything more than a few MOVs inside them?

Though I don't have the expertise you apparently have, I'm satisfied with my Autoformer & "surge protector" purchases and have no intention of contacting any manufacturers.

I just wanted to know what equipment you actually took apart to come to your conclusions, but asking you this just led to a rant which I (and I'm guessing others) can do without.

You remind me of a lot of engineers I used to work with . . . I'd ask them what time it is and they'd explain how the watch works. Well intentioned, but . . .

Why don't you set up a blog to share your knowledge instead of ranting? I think I suggested this before. You'd get much more coverage and probably have more impact.


Posted By: MEXICOWANDERER on 04/18/15 02:01pm

A glass of water is half full to an optimist

A glass of water is half empty to a pessimist

A glass of water is twice as big as it needs to be to an engineer

You already made up your min as to what you do not need. I made up my mind years ago I do not need to babysit a blog.

When information is of no use to me, I do not comment to the writer. It is a waste of time to do so and it the hallmark of someone who constantly sharpens their antlers on someone else's tree. If it does not suit you, ignore it. I do that in silence.


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