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Old 03-15-2008, 12:39 PM   #1
bncinwv
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M.O.C. #6846
The Montana Hole appeared (3-20 update)

Today was the day, 2 1/2" hole saw on cordless drill and lo and behold, about 20 seconds later, there it was, a hole in the Montana. It was a tearful moment (kidding!!) but it had to be done as part of the electrical upgrade. Front hookup is in and hopefully EMS and Autoformer installation will take place tomorrow. Had to curtail improvement process early today, since all the women were wanting DOD (dear old dad) to take them to the mall. No priorities at all, phewwwwww!
Bingo
Update:
Got the EMS system installed today and finalized the generator front hookup to the iota smart switch. Will use the autoformer stand alone for now since I won't have time to put it in before the first camping trip next weekend. Will post photos of the progress to date sometime this week. Hope to take generator to mini-storage one evening this week to do testing on both hookups (there is one at each end of the rig now) without the autoformer. Will keep updating as more is accomplished.
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Bingo and Cathy - Our adventures begin in the hills of WV. We are blessed by our 2014 3850FL Big Sky (previous 2011 3750FL and 2007 3400RL) that we pull with a 2007 Chevy Silverado Classic DRW CC dually.
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Old 03-15-2008, 04:16 PM   #2
sreigle
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M.O.C. #20
When you are at the logical point in this process, pictures would be appreciated, if you don't mind. That and maybe a good description of what's involved.
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Old 03-15-2008, 05:21 PM   #3
bncinwv
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I will definitely do that Steve, the only picture that I missed today was an actual picture of the hole. This was because of one minor detail, forgot the camera, but it is in the tool bag now!!
Bingo
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Old 03-18-2008, 01:29 PM   #4
sreigle
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Bingo, I've heard an autoformer should not be used inline with a generator. I don't have any facts, but thought I'd mention it since I've heard this several times including in MOC. Will your setup for installing the autoformer in a fixed location allow to bypass the autoformer when on generator power, perhaps automatically? Thanks.
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:49 PM   #5
bncinwv
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Steve, here is a pic from a previous thread of how I am doing the installation. As of now, the Autoformer is not installed in the battery bay as it ultimately will be. It is segregated from the front generator feed, and can be unhooked and used externally if the front feed is used for shore power. Took the generator to the mini-storage to run the check this evening and was dissapointed. Open ground fault when using the EMS, so I guess I have to revisit all the connections. I took a shortcut and tried to ground the 8AWG wire directly to a grounding nut, and got a hunch therein lies the problem. Will stop by Home Depot and get a twist on connector to hopefully remedy the situation. When I turned the EMS off, the generator provided the power to the rig with no problem, so I am sure everything is hooked up properly. I don't guess that the generator itself could be the source of the open ground??? Thoughts anyone. I guess if I wait until Saturday to try the ground connector, then I will know for sure Friday night when we hook up to actual Campground Power.
Bingo
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Old 03-19-2008, 08:16 AM   #6
bncinwv
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Received a response from Progressive Industries with regards to the open ground:
"Most portable gen sets will show a open ground. I have found that if you make up a short pigtail and tie the neutral and the ground wires together and only use this on the gen set the problem goes away."
This is interesting, so I guess I will be constructing a pigtail just for generator usage. I am assuming this pigtail would be a small extension to the existing cord which would tie together the neutral and the ground wires on the plug itself (I would also assume that the tie together jumper would best be done on the back of the female plug itself). Now the problem is that my gen cord is a 30 amp to 50 amp conversion cord with Manco fitting at the rig connect end. A manco fitting pigtail sounds like an expensive proposition. Any input on alternatives here from any electrical gurus will be appreciated.
Bingo
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Old 03-19-2008, 09:51 AM   #7
rogue
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Bingo, I ran into a open ground at one of the camp Grounds we stayed at, and had the EMS unit attached. They tried to tell me that the ground and Neutral were tied together, I said show me so they attached a ground to the water pipe and hooked it to the Neutral block in the CG box. The EMS unit still showed open ground. When they moved that wire to the box ground, the EMS box said all is good in the world. I have the PT 50C unit.
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:14 AM   #8
bncinwv
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Thanks for the info, I am still debating how to go about this. Possible solutionsare: Dedicate front hook-up to generator only and move the EMS onto the incoming rear feed (I am preferring this option since generator usage will be on rare occasions). OR leave EMS where it is and provide neutral to ground jumper on the incoming generator leg inside the Iota smartswitch box. This is the Easiest solution. OR lastly, just turn off EMS when using generator. Those are the options, since after pricing what I would need for some kind of pig-tail arrangement with the Mancor fittings would approach the cost of the EMS itself.
Bingo
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Old 03-19-2008, 02:58 PM   #9
rogue
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Bingo, I like your idea of front Generator and back CG. But check the manual, the Kipor should shut down power if it gets too far out of spec. Like running out of fuel. If in fact it does, the only case for the EMS would be if it got struck by lightning (and then I think you would have bigger problems).
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:17 PM   #10
bncinwv
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Ironically, the only reason that I decided to put the EMS on both legs was for extra protection. I really think that I am going to jumper the neutral and ground together in the IOTA switch. I guess I will e-mail Iota to see if this is acceptable on their behalf. In the meantime, I will simply turn the EMS off if I am using generator. Fortunately the unit I got has the remote display that has an on off switch on it. Next week's project is to run the telephone wire that it uses into the rig near the other indicators on the steps leading to the bedroom. Time permitting, I may install the autoformer into the battery compartment this weekend as well. Still planning on posting pics, have to download them from the camera and was hoping to finalize everything before doing that.
Bingo
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:15 AM   #11
bncinwv
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Received a response from Iota Engineering stating that there was no problem jumpering the neutral and the ground together on the generator feed side of the automatic transfer switch that came on the Montana. I will be doing this next week. Sounds like I am getting closer to resolving all of this and will post pictures, final results, and my personal evaluation of the performance issues. I intend to do all of this next week for those who are interested.
Bingo
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