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Plug-in Sytems PMS4 charging fault

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Posted

The Plug-in Systems battery charger in our 7-year-old Lunar LX2000 van has stopped charging. The unit which contains 12v fuses and an RCD device will deliver mains power to the van sockets and fridge. A charged 12v battery will make all normal 12v lights etc. work but there is a hardly-measureable voltage at the 12v battery terminals (no battery connected) when the charger is switched on with the illuminated rocker switch on top of the unit.

I have looked for advice on the Plug-in Systems web site but it's not working today. The phone number painted on the front of the unit answers with a fax or modem tone. Are they still trading?

Is there any point in removing the unit and looking for a secret fuse or trip inside? Can anyone guess if the unit could be repaired or is it scrap? Any suggestions? Any more tests I should do? I'm hoping for some answers because the in-laws are hoping to use the van when they visit next week for Christmas.

Thanks in advance.

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22 answers to this question

Posted

sent a PM

Dave

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Posted

There is a 13.8v 12A 'charger' or power source to be more correct contained within the PMS4 and for whatever reason it's stopped working.

There should be a fuse on the front of the unit on the right I think which is the normal output fuse for the charger, there is another 'floating' blade fuse which you may just be able to see if you remove the front cover.

Beyond these, there is a fuse on the charger pcb which if blown you can try replacing, however most times it will simply blow again as it works in conjunction with two other components.

A mechanical problem it may have is this, the later charger boards are much heavier than the supports are designed to carry, I've come across a few replacement charger boards where the supports have snapped and the pcb floating around loose inturn has snapped off one of the 12v output connections.

Another common mechanical problem is solder 'dry' joints on the coils next to the fuse or the big coil near the 12v output connections.

PinS are still trading but are not the same since being taken over :no: also they don't now make a direct simple replacement, from what I understand your expected to buy the whole unit?, but yes I have spares

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Posted

Thank you for your wise words, gentlemen. On the desk next to me is the charging PCB. It has a blown fuse and a component that has evidently overheated, split and scorched the AC neutral connector next to it. I very much doubt if there is any point in changing the fuse until the little electronic firework nearby has been replaced. I'm going to see if the local electronics guy in the village can help; if not I'll be in touch with you, Gary. Many thanks again.

PS the PCB is secured with 3 push-fit plastic lugs and an afterthought M8 bolt, presumably to support the weight. In fact the whole thing looks a bit Blue Peter-ish now the cover is off.

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Posted

Sounds like you have had a massive voltage spike! not been using a cheap Genny have we? :no:

The component is a 275v voltage clamp, set across live and neutral it will short out the supply and by doing so blow the fuse if the voltage rises above 275v. To suffer physical damage though the voltage was much higher :fear: with luck though it still caught the spike and replacing the component and fuse will get the charger going again, it's unlikely the damage to the cable and surrounding area is significant and your local guy should fix it easily

Your board btw is this later one I was talking about, the real problem arises if that single screw comes loose and the other three can't hold it's weight. Make sure it's tight and use a spot of thread lock or nail varish will do.

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Posted

:goodpostingsign:

Sounds like you have had a massive voltage spike! not been using a cheap Genny have we? :no:

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Posted

:goodpostingsign:

Yes we have. :blush::blush:

so I used the 2-stroke 650W generator that runs the central heating when we have power cuts, to keep the battery topped up. On my meter the genny gives about 230-235 volts unloaded but it speeds up when it runs out of fuel. Yes, I left it to run out of fuel. :blush: I guess it's all my fault.

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Posted

to check it only, cut the component off the board and replace the fuse, it's a 'timed' T2A or T3.15A fuse, now switch it on ...

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Posted

Visited local electronics firm, Easby Electronics of Richmond and collected some "samples" :laugh: i.e. a 275v voltage clamp and a couple of 3.15A fuses. Soldered the clamp in and replaced the fuse and I now have charging volts at the battery terminals and a generally working system.

I have sent the generator to the naughty corner in the garage and told it never to plug itself into the van again.

Many thanks to Dave and especially Gary :clap: who helped me through this little trauma and saved me goodness knows how much dosh.

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Posted

You lucky devil having Easby on you door step, great firm :yes:

glad it's sorted :thumbsup:

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Posted

Sounds like you have had a massive voltage spike! not been using a cheap Genny have we? :no:

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Posted

just think 290volts , you could power a fairground with that

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Posted

Sounds like you have had a massive voltage spike! not been using a cheap Genny have we? :no:

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Posted

The clamp is a small round bead often shiny and about 1/4" dia, it may be black, red or tan in colour and you will find it stood up quite close to the fuse.

It sits across live and neutral and is designed to short them out and blow the fuse, if then you replace the fuse and measure the resistance across live and neutral you should get many 1000's of ohms, if you get no resistance then the clamps shorting.

Finding it and either removing the clamp or cutting one leg, will allow you to test the charger to see if it works, if it does fit a new clamp.

Problem is further damage can be caused which is not so easy to fix!

Replacements can be obtained from O'leary Motorhomes

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Posted

The clamp is a small round bead often shiny and about 1/4" dia... [snipped]

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Posted

Your board is the one before and the same make as O'Leary's selling, so it will be a direct replacement.

This latter one also has a 14.4v setting, this would be very useful if it's fully controlled and automatically switches back to 13.8v once the battery is fully charged, however, I'm not at all sure it does?

Toward the front left in your picture, you will see a red component with a rubber sleeve around it, this is the likely offending 'clamp', to the right of that theres a similar green component TH1, this is the third part of the fire protection and should have about 14 ohms across it.

If however it's well above this value then that also needs changing.

PS, by removing the clamp and therefore the short circuit, this should then allow the rcb to stay in, for test purposes this is fine but must ultimately be replaced and not left out.

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Posted

... a red component with a rubber sleeve around it, this is the likely offending 'clamp' ...

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Posted

Gary,

Thanks - I've finally got around to looking at this. It was measuring about 36 ohm across live/neutral, and 18 ohm across the green TH1 component, so I cut the red sleeved one, and the charger now works again, so that's good news.

Any idea where I can get a replacement from - couldn't see anything obvious in Maplin or from a quick Google. Is there another name for it, or is it something quite unusual? Do O'Leary do just the clamp? (again, couldn't see anything on their website). Also, what's the sleeving - I presume I could do with replacing that too?

Thanks for your help - it looks like this is going to have saved me a good hundred quid!

trogit

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Posted

Easby's one will be the same but Maplin sell them, yours and the Zig should be a 3Amp 275v 'VDR', (voltage dependent resistor).

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Posted

Easby's one will be the same but Maplin sell them, yours and the Zig should be a 3Amp 275v 'VDR', (voltage dependent resistor).

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Posted

Transient Voltage Suppressor be another name!

Maplin part number 'CP76H'.....99p

Farnells version from your link

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Posted

Transient Voltage Suppressor be another name!

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Posted

Hi I have a similar probelm with a PMS4 power supply in that it's not got a 12voly out put and discovered the fault is D1 which is burnt and and the only markings I can read are BY? and no more. The power supply will work with this disconnected and gives the correct voltage and powr 21watt bulb so it's some sort of protection ? I think any body got a circuit or information I would be grateful to what this diode is.

Many Thanks Frank

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