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Old 12-05-2012, 11:58 PM   #41
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Hopefully the photo files show up.

They are of the control circuit for my Norcold fridge. Although the specifics may vary from model to model and over the years this is likely very similar to what anyone with a Norcold has.

You can see that the motor is 20VAC, and whether run on 12DC or `120VAC the transformer is involved, no way around it.

I found years ago that there is a frequency adjustment, a sliding adj. on a wound wire resistor, and the frequency had fallen off causing a slow running motor on 12VDC thus lousy cooling. I noticed a change in the sound when changing to 120VAC from the 12VDC.

I did build and install a muffin cooling fan drive that runs when the motor runs to evacuate the cabinet of hot air.

I will replace my unit this year, I think,maybe, even though it still runs and cools well simply because it is a power hog compared to the Danfoss operated units and it has no box insulation.

If anyone is interested I can post the fan power circuit.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:02 AM   #42
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There are items on boats which some might say should be replaced or refinished, but the owner charged with maintaining the boat usually knows if there is still effective service life in an item to retain it as is, because it is not yet "spent".
Of course aesthetics can play a part in a replacement or rejuvenation, often at the insistence of The Admiral.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:45 AM   #43
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"owner charged with maintaining the boat usually knows if there is still effective service life in an item to retain it as is, because it is not yet "spent"."

Actually in refrigeration newer tech is far more efficient so the decision on tossing old stuff is different.

If a new fridge will do the job with half the energy , this would be a Prime reason to swop for an anchor out cruiser, meaningless for the M>M folks.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:34 AM   #44
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.............If a new fridge will do the job with half the energy , this would be a Prime reason to swop for an anchor out cruiser, meaningless for the M>M folks.
That's the same reason many of us replace perfectly good incandescent lamps with LEDs.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:03 PM   #45
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If anyone is interested I can post the fan power circuit -
I'd be interested in seeing how you did it...
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:20 PM   #46
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"owner charged with maintaining the boat usually knows if there is still effective service life in an item to retain it as is, because it is not yet "spent"."

Actually in refrigeration newer tech is far more efficient so the decision on tossing old stuff is different.

If a new fridge will do the job with half the energy , this would be a Prime reason to swop for an anchor out cruiser...
Agree totally. Ditto for LEDs, Rwidman.
I would distinguish these as very sensible improvements due to new technology,not just replacing or renewing an item as it finally becomes spent.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:56 PM   #47
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I did this 12-15 yrs ago so it has worked since then.

I used a piece of PCB to mount the components. [Perforated Circuit board]

The sketch is the schematic and the parts I used. What ever I had on hand at the time so most of it is overkill for the fan. I think the only exceptions were the terminal strips - orange and the fan, the 4".

The resistors I used will result in approx 12.8 VDC output to the fan. One mod. would be to simply purchase a 12VDC voltage regulator rather than the resistor setpoint type. I had these on hand so fiddled.

The layout on the PCB was quite straightforward. I just used copper wire strands for the jumpers between components as required and soldered.

The PCB board was then secured to the fridge back although that location could be anywhere in the cabinet cavity.

The AC I got from the leads that lead to the compressor motor. The motor has pull apart connections. I carefully exposed the barrels and wrapped the fan drive leads around and soldered to the AC leads. Then the new wire was taken to the PCB board. There is NO polarity for these leads.

I don't have a better picture unfortunately.

I did put a fuse and fuse holder on both the AC & Dc, PCB mount type mini fuses, glass type.

For the connections of the incoming 20VAC and outgoing 12VDC I used Weidmuller PCB screw terminal strips which should be available from a good electronics store. Alternatives are available including wire and solder directly and skip the terminal strips although they do make things easier.

The fan is a ball bearing type, 4" muffin fan of approx 30-40cfm, nominal 12VDC , good up to 14VDC. and draws measured 180mA. so is a tiny draw on the compressor motor.

One boo boo was using 2 - 3" fans I had. Each individually was dead quiet but together they sounded like a small plane. Use one fan and you will barely be aware of it running.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:50 PM   #48
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Well, much as a whole group of people (not just here) seem to think old things should just be thrown away, I'm proud to say my Norcold is back up and running again - Hell, it's only 33 years old, half my age, good thing nobody threw me away at that young age !!
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:58 PM   #49
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I think they are part of Thetford Inc. Norcold Inc. Refrigerators
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:55 AM   #50
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My fridge is just as old but makes and ungodly racket when first starting up. Going to take it out and have it bench tested by a shop and see what causes it. I think it needs some freon, does not get very cold at mid setting.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:24 PM   #51
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Well, much as a whole group of people (not just here) seem to think old things should just be thrown away, I'm proud to say my Norcold is back up and running again...
We are in the same camp. We do not replace anything on the boat unless it fails or no longer does the job we need it to do. Our boat came with a Norcold undercounter refrigerator freezer which, despite its old-technology refrigeration system, relatively high power consumption, and lack of adequate insulation, does a very good job plus has an excellent interior design in terms of stowage.

The high power consumption is not an issue for us. The Norcold has been running 24-7-365 since the day we took delivery of the boat in 1998, but in the slip it's on ground power and when we're out the batteries get recharged every day either because we're going somewhere on the main engines or with the generator if we stay in an anchorage for several days. And our boat has a very low electrical load when the navigation equipment is not operating. Just the refrigerator and whatever lights we happen to have on, which is rarely more than two.

We did think we would have to replace the Norcold some three years ago when it started cycling in an odd way and at one point quit running altogether for part of a day. So we did the research and decided on a certain Isotherm model as a replacement. But the Norcold "fixed" itself and his been running just fine ever since. The "fix" occured at about the same time we changed the boat's battery makeup which doubled our house power so perhaps that had something to do with it, we don't know.

So we have a "fix" waiting in the wings should the Norcold decided to call it quits but until that time we see no reason whatsoever to replace it.

The LED light bulb exchange mentioned by Ron is something that would be beneficial not only for the reduced power draw--- which as I said is not important to us--- but for the better quality of light. Unfortunately our boat is old enough that there are no LED replacement bulbs available for the fixtures.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:11 PM   #52
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you and your boat usage sound quite similar to ours and our usage, if it was necessary, I'd replace the fridge, but as long as I can keep it working I'm happy with it - and I have the 1000 bucks to use for other stuff. As to the LED bulbs, I'm pretty sure I can find them, but the cost still kinda catches me in the wallet. Guess I'm just cheap... maybe someday...
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:03 PM   #53
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I replaced most of the incandescent lights in my 88 Island Gypsy and had no problem finding them. Only had problem with the small automotive light bulbs in the 22 heads. But that will be addressed as well.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:20 PM   #54
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OK - I gotta ask - what kind of boat do YOU have that has 22 heads? couldn't possibly be a misunderstanding???
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:29 PM   #55
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OK - I gotta ask - what kind of boat do YOU have that has 22 heads?
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:59 PM   #56
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As to the LED bulbs, I'm pretty sure I can find them, but the cost still kinda catches me in the wallet. Guess I'm just cheap... maybe someday...
Try Ebay. 2 lots of LEDs bought from HK,arrived fast, cheap (nothing like boat shops), and worked. Total draw of LED 5 replacements of 25W incandescents is less than 1 old incandescent.
There are many areas on a boat where you can keep an old item ticking along until it really has to be replaced. But LEDs are a "no brainer" with immediate benefits for electrical loading.
Sunvale, I figured the lights in the heads are not on long enough to be a big issue for LED replacement.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:14 PM   #57
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We'd replace the incandescent bulbs on our boat with LEDs if we could. But the bases of the bulbs in our '73 boat have not been replicated by the LED folks. We've tried, our marine electrical shop has searched all over the place, but LED's are unobtainium for our vintage of lights.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:50 AM   #58
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We'd replace the incandescent bulbs on our boat with LEDs if we could. But the bases of the bulbs in our '73 boat have not been replicated by the LED folks. We've tried, our marine electrical shop has searched all over the place, but LED's are unobtainium for our vintage of lights.
Marin, IG copied some GB features, this might help, most of my fittings take Edison screw bulbs, which I found 2 years ago on ebay as wide spot "bulbs" at around $12, incl shipping. Which will be no help at all if GB used different fittings.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:14 AM   #59
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No, our GB uses a large two-pin bayonet mount for most of the interior lamp bulbs. These are available as incandescents but so far (at least as of a year or so ago) no one has used this particular bayonet base for an LED light. And we hate the blue-white of a lot of LEDs so we wouldn't want them even if they were available.

LEDs are available now in "warm" color temperatures but again, apparently not in the base type that our boat uses.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:58 AM   #60
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LEDs are available now in "warm" color temperatures but again, apparently not in the base type that our boat uses.

A look in a catalog might find bases that could be swopped in to your existing lamp housings.Soldering is a simple skill.
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