Prosine Inverter Problems

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Prosine Inverter Problems

Postby Rejoice » Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:50 am

We have begun to get error messages from our Prosine 2.0 inverter, such as "Internal error 3073" or "Internal error 0258".

The fellow at Xantrex said this is a common problem if the cabling to the battery banks is 2-aught (?sp) or less. Apparently the 2.0 unit requires at least a 250 MCM cable grade for runs under 6' and 350 MCM if over 6 feet. Such errors typically don't show up until the unit is 1.0 - 1.5 years old.

Has anyone had similar problems, and if so, how did you solve them?
Anne & Dave Mensel
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Postby duetto » Sun Jul 23, 2006 1:54 pm

hi,

we bought hull #23 a year ago. it's a 2003 but sat for a year. we had trouble with charger side right from the beginning, but errors had to do with "tmp1 getting too hot". generally occurred when running off generator when battery voltage and charge amperage were at max. can't remember having problem on shore power. last winter when were cruising the inverter just stopped working. we replaced with another unit primarily so it would be a bolt in replacement. i also checked with xantrex and had the 350 mcm pointed out to me. with that said our wiring is 4/0 and less than 6' so i believe that we're ok.
john & diane cummings
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Prosine 2.0

Postby Gadzooks! » Sun Jul 23, 2006 2:42 pm

Our boat (hull #33) was delivered in Oct 2003. We had to replace our Prosine 2.0 after 2.5 years (factory warranty is 2 years). It completely quit after an increasing set of error messages. I found that Xantrex does not repair the units. If in warranty, they simply send you a new one. If beyond the warranty period, you are out of luck. The best they will do for you is sell you another for a reduced price - about $1000. This is what we wound up doing, as it is cheaper than new ones on ebay. An outfit in Miami, Sunelec, had some refurbished ones (with six months warranty) for around $600, but were out of stock when we needed one. They substituted a Prosine 2.5 which had to be returned because it physically would not fit.

Yours, ours and Duetto's make three failures in about 100 boats. A 3% failure rate (possibly much higher as there are probably failures I have not heard of) is not good. Our unit is mounted upside down in the starboard aft cabin in the compartment that is directly under the interior helm seat. In earlier boats it was in the wiring compartment behind the instrument panel. I understand it was changed because of overheating problems and to get it closer to the batteries. It is a good location in terms of wiring length as it is inches from the battery switch at the foot of the companionway and about as close to the batteries as one can get. Ours still overheated until James Power installed a short piece of ducting from the unit to a grill in the front vertical surface of the compartment. I also leave the compartment door open most of the time.

In view of the history of troubles, I think this unit is a lemon and PDQ should abandon it. If I were designing the next boat, it would have separate charger and inverter. This would probably increase reliability and would be considerably cheaper.

As retrofitting a different unit would be a major job due to wiring considerations, I am sticking to the Prosine 2.0 and hoping for the best. But I am not happy about it.
Mebs and Wally Gilliam
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Postby Rejoice » Sun Jul 23, 2006 3:11 pm

Thanks for your input. The 4/0 wiring that PDQ uses to connect batteries and inverter/charger is a suitable substitution for the 350 MCM, according to a Xantrex websight I found today.

I'm wondering what Xantrex will do, as our problem was first noticed last fall, got worse this spring, and finally hit the wall a week ago. The boat is 2 years old the first week of this July.
Anne & Dave Mensel

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Postby duetto » Sun Jul 23, 2006 5:14 pm

hi,

couple of things:

1) units are date stamped, at least our 2 are. warranty is based on that date i think.

2) ours is also upside down under helm seat and it does get hot in there. i mounted a 4" 12v continous duty fan from radio shack. i mounted in grill work under steering wheel exhausting hot air. it does a really good job of getting rid of hot air. i have not measured actual temp in compartment but would estimate 10-15F drop.
john & diane cummings

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Postby Rejoice » Tue Jul 25, 2006 5:35 pm

An update for those who are interested. It looks as though Xantrex is going to replace our inverter/charger gratis even though it is a few weeks out of warranty. The behavior of a professional company, in my opinion.

Chris at PDQ (customer service) has offered to walk me through the configuration once we get the new unit in place. The PDQ people continue to impress me with their level of customer care. Glad I bought this boat.
Anne & Dave Mensel

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Prosine Inverter Problems

Postby Sno' Dog » Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:09 pm

We received a couple of "Internal Error 0258" messages on our Prosine 2.0 last week while cruising in Maine. When I called Xantrex, they were prepared to send us a replacement unit (even to overnight it to Bar Harbor if we wanted to pay $60 shipping) but they said to first try a "cold shut-down and re-start". The suggested procedure: shut off all AC and DC power to the unit for 30 minutes(!), also turn both panel switches to "disable". Then (after 30 min), turn switch on the unit to ON then OFF then ON. Then, enable Inverter at control panel, finally enable Charger at control panel. Miraculously, this cured our problem - at least for now.

A minor detail... Xantrex naturally wanted to know the serial number of our unit. Well, the S/N is located on the DC end which faces inward and is covered by a cooling duct (something PDQ may have added recently - it runs to a grille in the main cabin by the steps). Anyway, in order to read the serial number, you must crawl inside the cabinet with a flashlight, lie on your back, remove the duct, then read the number using a mirror - of course the number appears up-side-down AND backwards!

I suggested to Chris Calver at PDQ that they might record these numbers (along with those of other major components) as a service to new owners.

Henry
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Postby Rejoice » Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:35 pm

We did the same as you to read the seriel number.

The "turn everything off and wait 30 minutes" worked for us, as well, and when the error message came along only every few months, we thought it an anomile. That was last fall. Then this spring we started to get the error every week or two. By mid-July we were getting the error several times a day.

The "turn everything off" is also a problem because we do not live aboard and if the unit kicks off while we are gone the refrigerator may well deplete the house batteries and start defrosting, spoiling any food therein. Plus the water from defrosting will make quite a mess.

Thanks for your input.
Anne & Dave Mensel

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Prosine 2000 Problems

Postby Milky Way » Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:57 pm

Hi! I had Prosine faults, and since I replaced the 100 amp pathfinder combiner with a 250 amp unit, I have had absolutely no problems. The original unit had a chatter (quite noisy), and the solenoids were extremely hot to touch. My settings of the three small dials are left one at 11 o'clock, and the right two at 12 o'clock. I set the Prosine breaker switch amps to10 from 30. The bulk charging amperage is now way down from over 100 amps before. Hope this helps. Armin Quickert MV34/78.
Last edited by Milky Way on Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby duetto » Mon Aug 14, 2006 1:49 pm

hi,

is the 250 amp unit a xantrex pathfinder also?
john & diane cummings

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Postby Milky Way » Mon Aug 14, 2006 9:13 pm

Hi John, Yes it is made by Xantrex. Regards Armin Quickert MV34/78.

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Prosine 2000 Problems

Postby Sno' Dog » Tue Aug 15, 2006 11:21 am

I checked mine, it's a Xantrex 250/3. I guess PDQ has upgraded to this model now. I was thinking, if this was the cause of the problem, I could turn it off and see what happens, but I haven't seen the problem again since it first occurred a few weeks ago.

Another possibility, suggested by Xantrex, is the proximity of AC wires to the small cable that runs from the unit to the control panel. Apparently this can induce a voltage in the DC wire. I'm going to try separating the wires a bit.

Henry
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Postby Rejoice » Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:14 pm

Update on the replacement inverter.

All went swimmingly until I appled the torque wrench to the DC posts. Setting my wrench at just between the high and low recommended torques, the positive bolt broke off about 1/3 the way up the bolt. Great consternation and knashing (? sp) of teeth. Xantrex said take the aft end off the old inverter and replace the broken end of the new inverter.

So far I don't have the manual strength to break free the bolts inside the old inverter. Am I just a 61 year old wimp or perhaps there is a special means by which one loosens such bolts? Perhaps Mr. World Atlas....

Any suggestions? Shooting the damn thing won't work. We have guests coming aboard this weekend....

Regards to all,
Anne & Dave Mensel

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Postby duetto » Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:02 pm

hi all,

just wanted to let you know that we've replaced our 100A combiner with the 250A version. in a little over a year we've had 2 of the 100A version fail in the boat and one was bad from the factory. the problem seems to be that the solenoids on the 100A model aren't up to the task. i believe that they pit and then don't pass full voltage and current. according to xantrex, chattering coming from the solenoids is an indicator that all is not well. now with that said, ours chattered for months before finally failing. the test of a failing combiner is that green light is on but voltage varies across the three batteries.

in addition to the combiner, we're on our second prosine. the first gave us trouble from the time we bought the boat used in 2005. we replaced it last winter and so far have had no problems.

not sure if the combiner problems are related to the prosine problems but it does seem a little too coincidental that a couple of us have suffered failures on both.

also, i was told at annapolis boatshow that pdq now uses 250A model combiner as standard equipment.
john & diane cummings

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Prosice

Postby Rejoice » Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:29 pm

Just to bring folks up to date on our Xantrex problem, even though the unit was a few weeks out of warranty, Xantrex replaced the unit at no charge, which we very much appreciated.

Putting in the new one (we like to do our own maintenance) was a definite learning experience. Hint, don't trust the installation manual when it gives the torque to apply to the DC cables. The post snapped right off.
Anne & Dave Mensel

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