Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Peek inside the Magnum

Kristi asked 'Why did you need to do that?'  She was referring to why was the cover off of our new Magnum inverter.   Though I am sure he had in her mind words like "Boys" and "Nerd", the truth is the installation manual had instructed me to take off the cover in order to modify the inverter's bonding option.  On Viking Star we have a shore-power isolation transformer, and hence all safety-ground to neutral bonding is handled in the breaker panel - and needs to be disabled permanently in things like inverters.

Plus it gave me a chance to do some snooping around inside. . . . .

On 1st blush comparing this to the failed Prosine ( the Magnum is such a simpler design.  And a fundamentally different one:  While the Prosine looked to use in effect two DC-DC converts, the Magnum still uses a large transformer to provide the basics for voltage change. It also has proper crimped connectors on the wiring, and even comes with a moisture barrier Conformal coating on the PCBs!

One 'nerd note', I spotted this interesting approach for measuring DC current:

Note the small wire paralleled with the large one?
Obviously a way to pre-scale the amps being measured by the blue coil, but I wondered how they maintained precision of current flow between the large and the small wire?  Then I noticed the Magnum only has a 20% accuracy rating on current draw. . . .

Other then that, things look OK   Took a day to install it, and it is working well so far.  I did notice the configuration options are vastly reduced vs. the Prosine using the 'normal' remote.  And even if one 'upgrades' to the more advanced remote with additional options there is still less then the prosine had (ala ability to place it into a fixed volt / current limited mode).  But Oh Well, not sure that is really needed anyway.  To their defense  will say it looks like the remotes can integrate things like a proper battery monitor and auto generator start/stop modules.  Nice, but I do wonder why they have a standard and advanced remote that appears to only have a firmware change and an extra $75 cost.  Darn Marketeers. . .

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