Inverter/charger failure

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Senior Member
Mar 17, 2008
Vessel Name
Isle of Skye
Vessel Make
Bruckmann trawler
Returned to Demopolis to launch the boat and found the Freedom 2012 (one year old)*was not charging or supplying power to the AC panel (lights on the remote but flashing at the V and showing 110 available)). Looks like, as a minimum,**the power tranfer board is not working as there is no ouput to the AC panel.
I bypassed the inverter and now have AC power (so can run the de-humidifier to get rid of some of damp) and have borrowed a 10A charger (the biggest I could get) to top up the batteries. I will get the largest charger I can find locally (looks like 12A) to top off batteries when I'm at a dock (I have a 12V fridge) and will use some small inverters to power laptop and TV when at anchor or underway.
Has anyone any experience with the Magnum 2012 or any other recommendations ?
Is there an inverter repair site near Mobile or on the west GCIC (heading towards Galveston)*that might have a look at my Freedom?
Jon, This is really typical for a lot of Xantrex owners now. The Magnum unit is a good choice as is the Victron. Both are well built and well engineered. I would forget repairing the Freedom unless you want to chance it under warranty and try and stretch the unit until it fails again. This is also our reasoning for having an inverter and charger separately, since if one goes down you do not loose the capacity for both. Chuck
I also don't charge my batteries through my inverter and have a separate charger for the reasons already stated.
We have them seaparte also for the same reason.
In Big Bayou Canot, just north of Mobile, after a 4MPH current assist down the Tombiggbee.
I Found a 15 A charger which helped when I was at dock, and tried an 800W inverter which seemed to have a hich standby draw. I tried backfeeding into the AC with the 800 inverter (the original Heart disconnected) but kept getting a reverse polarity light at the panel, regardless of how I wired the input plug. Then decided to hook up the original just as an inverter, and all seems fine. My set up has incoming ac going first to the inverter/charger then to the AC panel. Following the suggestions of separate inverter and charger systems, it looks like I need a 2 way +30 amp 110v swithch so that I can switch either the AC feed or the inverter into the onboard ac panel. Any suggestions on type and source???
Any recommendations on a larger smart charger??
Will be in Dog River today and then on to Lake Ponchartrain.
Jon, Many inverters for RV's etc., do not ground the neutral and will show a false reverse polarity on your panel. That is one reason to buy an inverter designed for marine use. A good explanation is at . Chuck

-- Edited by Capn Chuck on Sunday 25th of October 2009 07:55:46 AM
Many thanks; this was just the educational tip I was looking for!
That is an excellent web site you attached.
Saw a Blue seas rotary ac switch in the West Marine catalogue that should be fit for purpose (unless thereis a cheaper one that someone can suggest).
It's kinda neat to be powering down Mobile bay and viewing Internet - a big change from 20 years ago in the Pacific when we used postcards for our long distance comms.
I bought two rotary AC switches from Fisheries Supply.* They had the best prices when I looked. The switches work great, I use them to select sources for two AC legs on my panel. House is served by a switchable shore/genset/inverter, Air Cond is served by shore/genset.

-- Edited by Daddyo on Monday 26th of October 2009 02:41:47 PM

-- Edited by Daddyo on Monday 26th of October 2009 02:43:33 PM
Thank you, Daddyo!!!!
Have got a rotary switch on order, but need to decide on a charger (the inverter portion of the installed Freedom 20 seems to be working ok)I have 6 @ 6V golf carts for house *(I'm thinking approx 660 AH at 12V capacity)
What size and type of charger are you gentlemen using and what might be suitable for me?
West Marine have a 40 Amp Prosine available, but that doesn't appear to come close to enough to effectively use the output from my Honda 2000 which I use for charging at anchor.
Non Marine chargers may or may not be a problem.

The unit has to be examined to observe the wiring.

IF the unit grounds one leg of the AC to the transformer , as house units may do, it can cause almost unlimited destruction of underwater parts.

Caviat emptor,

FF, Not sure what kind of chargers you are referring to. Exactly what would one be looking for when "observing" the wiring. What is a "house" battery charger? Chuck

-- Edited by Capn Chuck on Monday 2nd of November 2009 08:23:57 PM

-- Edited by Capn Chuck on Monday 2nd of November 2009 08:24:41 PM
A battery charger for truck and auto work , found rround most home garages is what I call a house (not Marine ) charger.

Sometimes the transformer is not isolated and the neutral (white) grounds internally to the green "ground wire".

This can cause some fun voltages in the water at most marinas.


Not sure I get what your system design is. From the pics, you have one bank for house, but two chargers.
I know most of us started with two banks for house, but as the chargers/alternators/regulators get better, many are switching to a single bank for house and a separate start battery. That's what I have done, getting rid of the pair of 8D #1s and the pair of 4D #2s, going to 4 golf cart 6vs to give 440 ah for house, all attached to a single charger circuit. Then the start is attached to an echo circuit and is also fed by the old "dumb" alternator on the second engine. A single charger of 100 Amps will feed those GC batteries all they need from a 4 kw genset in jig time. A 45 amp not so much.
Keith, Those two chargers can be separated to charge each pair of batteries to make two sets on the house bank. But they are all connected to essentially make one large bank and the two 45 amp chargers are strung together to give me 90 amps. That is the nice thing about the Iota, and this gives me lots of flexibility and back up should one charger fail. The separate start battery is charged via the echo charger. Chuck

-- Edited by Capn Chuck on Tuesday 3rd of November 2009 09:39:05 PM
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