Ramblings of a Techno-Viking

Upgrading the Converter/Charger, part 1

The Magnetek 6345 Converter/Charger that came in my Aerbus was never a good design, and is far inferior to what is available today. It's a single stage converter that feeds totally unfiltered and unregulated power to most circuits, and only a portion of the power is used to charge the battery slowly with a cheap and inaccurate voltage limiter. Not only is it slow charging the battery, it will overcharge it if left on too long.

To replace the original converter, I purchased an IOTA DLS-55 with IQ4 from BestConverter. This upgrades the output to 55 amps, and all of the output is regulated and will be used to charge the battery if there is no other load. With the IQ4, it is a 3 stage converter that will charge the battery quickly and then drop down to a maintenance level that should not overcharge the battery. Delivery was quick with the $0 slow shipping option -- I ordered it Wednesday evening and it arrived Saturday afternoon. The output terminals are a #2 recessed square that made me spend $9 on a tool to use it. (Home Depot keeps the tool in electrical, the tool department has no clue about it.) The IQ4 has the status LED and the connector on the same side, so you can't mount it showing the status LED and looking nice. The short cable included for the IQ4 has phone handset modular connectors, so it might be possible to use a phone handset cord to mount the IQ4 further from the converter. There is no provision for a battery temperature probe or adjusting the voltages from its preset values. Mounting in the space of the original converter will take some creativity, but it is smaller.

Since I haven't been running the generator enough to recharge the battery from whatever phantom loads there are, I took the new golf-cart batteries out and brought them home to charge. The dollar store jumper cables (purchased years ago when copper was cheaper) are undersized for the task.

See Converter2 for the rest of the install.