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-   -   Replacing M380 Trace modified sine-wave inverter with pure sine-wave Magnum MS2812 (https://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22511)

NoGas 04-26-2015 12:19 AM

Replacing M380 Trace modified sine-wave inverter with pure sine-wave Magnum MS2812
5 Attachment(s)
Recently replaced my M380's Trace inverter with a Magnum MS2812. Listed below are the steps it took to accomplish this project. A big thanks to Jim Brookshire and Don Bradner for leading the way with their own inverter replacement projects. Hope those considering this project find the write-up to be useful:

What did this project do? -

It removed the Trace modified sine-wave inverter and installed a pure-sine wave Magnum MS2812 inverter/ME-AGS/ME-BMK with shunt/ME-ARC50 remote on an M380 with a Lyght ATS and PowerTech 12KW generator. The internet networking and battery combiner boxes were not installed, though they may be added later. The MS2812 was chosen over Magnum's newer hybrid model because this inverter matched almost exactly the cable in-out requirements as the old Trace inverter, and that made the installation easier. At the time of my purchase, iMarineUSA had the best price on the MS2812 and they were a pleasure to deal with. Sold the old Trace inverter to a fellow WOG member and that helped offset some of the cost of this upgrade.

Intro & Disclaimer -

Throughout this installation you should refer to the instructions and diagrams contained in the appropriate Magnum manuals. I found the Magnum tech experts to be very patient and helpful with questions that were not answered by studying their manuals. Additionally, comparing the Magnum diagrams to the original Trace diagrams helped me to understand how everything works [or is supposed to work ;) ]. Lastly, the instructions that follow apply specifically to my coach (a 2004 M380). Whether these procedures and/or descriptions apply to your situation or coach, or whether you follow these guidelines at all is your decision. Likewise, the results you get (or don't get) are solely your responsibility.

The Steps -

Here is how I installed the Magnum inverter and its related add-on boxes:

1. Turn off the coach and engine battery disconnects. Then disconnect all power sources to/from the coach. Don't forget solar if you have it installed. Turn off all AC CBs in the rear closet. Physically remove both the Pos & Neg (+ & -) cable connectors from the coach, engine and generator battery banks, and disconnect shore power then check for remaining residual voltage using your multi-meter.

2. Take pictures and/or short videos - of the old inverter connections before you remove anything! Include lots of close ups and the details of how each cable is hooked up to the old inverter.

3. Remove each wire or cable that is attached to the old Trace inverter - As you remove each, use masking tape & marker to label what each cable is attached to (i.e. HOT L1 NEUTRAL OUT, etc). Once labeled, pull each cable away from the Trace inverter to give you working space. Some connections on the Magnum are in different locations on its case compared to the old Trace. However, you should be able to reuse all cables without changing them to longer ones. Some re-routing will be needed due to the connections being in slightly different locations on the two inverters.

4. Unfasten the four inverter-to-shelf attachment bolts and remove. Also remove the green case grounding wire (reattach it when you secure the new inverter to the shelf – step 16)

5. Pull the old Trace inverter out and remove. I recommend you get a friend to help with this and the next step. Be aware that both the old Trace inverter and the new Magnum replacement weigh about 60 lbs each (think sack of Redi-Mix concrete). You will be reaching out into the bay at least initially and will not be able to get under it to support that weight, so it's best together some help.

6. Attach to the left (rear) sidewall of the R1 electric bay:
A. Shunt for the BMK
B. BMK box, and
C. AGS box
If you are installing the internet networking option or battery combiner box, install these boxes on the side wall too. All of the boxes connect to the inverter "network" via their own phone plugs/cable and must each be connected to a 12 volt power source. Mounting them all in the same general location makes sense.

7. Lift the new Magnum inverter up onto the inverter shelf. Again, get someone to help you with this. DO NOT fasten it to the shelf yet (see item #16 below)

8. The AC In/Out wires feed into the old Trace through the right side of the case, while they enter the Magnum case through openings in the lower left front corner. Additionally, the Magnum's AC In/Out internal connection panel is on the left side of it's case as opposed to the Trace's front panel location. The existing AC cables are long enough to reach the Magnum side panel connection points through the front, but only if you route the cables in front of the inverter shelf. Rotate the Magnum case 90 degrees counterclockwise such that you can work inside the connection panel and open the cover.

9. Reverse the ground stud (lower left corner of the Magnum front). I removed the case paint around this lug with my hand grinder, such that the ground cable connector makes good contact with the case.

10. Feed both the AC IN & OUT sets of wires into the Magnum and fasten to the appropriate points inside the connection panel. Work your way across and give each wire a small "slack loop". The bare ground wire from each bundle can be attached to the common ground lug inside the panel. Leave the green neutral disconnect wire as-is, connected.

11. Route the large 12V +/- and ground cables as they were routed on the Trace. Both Neg and Pos 12V cables from the inverter enter the right side coach interior floor chase via two studs on the roof of electrical R1 bay and those go back to the Engine batteries. The Neg cable that goes from the coach battery pack, up the left sidewall, to the roof stud must be cut and the BMK shunt inserted inline. Add your crimp spade connectors and attach. The neg-battery cable then leads from the shunt to the Neg roof stud mentioned above. I tapped into the 12 volt Pos + here to provide power for the aux boxes previously attached to the R1 bay sidewall. Also attached to this Neg stud is a ground cable that is fastened directly to the frame. I found that the inverter needs a more direct ground path to the Neg side of the 12 volt coach supply (in addition to the through the frame connection point), so I added an additional cable from the inverter grounding stud to the coach side of the BMK shunt. This results in two cables being attached to the non-battery side of the shunt.

12. The Magnum remote can use the old Trace phone cable so no wire fishing is required to the remote above the driver position. The Magnum remote face plate is not as tall but is slightly wider than the old Trace remote. I widened the dash opening by about 1/4" so the Magnum remote would fit, and then fashioned a 2" high black plastic "hole cover" using a piece of the black "surface mount adapter housing" that came with the remote (see attached pictures). Pre-drill the new screw holes to avoid cracking the plastic.

13. The Magnum battery temperature sensor must be attached to one of the actual coach battery terminals. I drilled a small hole in the large battery case to pass this cable through, routed/covered the cable and plugged the other end into the inverter, and plugged the sensor/network connection points into the labeled and color coded jacks. The old Trace battery temp sensor was basically worthless as BB had simply coiled the cable and placed it between the case and rear wall of the bay (not attached to anything)!

14. Installed the coach interior temp sensor (attaches to the AGS). That line is fed up into the coach through one of the wire bundle holes that leads into the lower side wall wiring chase, inside the coach. To access the chase, remove the wood screws and the carpeted chase can be lifted up and off the attachment points. Place the temp sensor bulb where you think it can accurately determine the need for air conditioning. I ran the line up the vertical chase beside the entry door and allowed the bulb to protrude slightly along the horizontal cabinet line below the upper cabinet. In-place the probe is barely visible in the cabinet-wall joint.

15. Install the AGS generator start/stop wiring. My PowerTech/Kubota 12kw generator is a "two wire" model, as described in the Magnum AGS manual. The wiring diagrams for various generators can be found on this Magnum webpage. I used the one listed for my PowerTech with ECU-63 control and Packard Plug. I reused the existing start/stop wiring so did not need to fish new cables. Used my multimeter and the PowerTech manual to determine which of the many wires need to be connected. The dip switches inside the AGS box will need to be set to match the type of generator control, two-wire in my case.

16. Testing - the most important part! Each of the Magnum manuals has detailed testing procedures. Do the inverter testing first, then go on to each sub-box. Re-connect all the batteries and turn on your disconnect switches. Follow the steps outlined in your Magnum Inverter Manuals! Part of the inverter testing will call for you to bring the AC CBs in the rear power center to ON one-at-a-time. Be advised that the inverter testing also requires access to the AC connection panel on the side of the inverter. That means this testing should be one of the last things you do before you permanently fasten the inverter to its shelf. When testing the inverter you'll need to rotate the inverter case to apply your multimeter probes. Once completed you can replace the cover and rotate the inverter into place. New bolt holes will be needed in the mounting panel. I attached the old green grounding wire to the inverters right front case attachment bolt to provide another case grounding point. When it came to testing the shore power transfer function, I discovered I had a bad shore cable! Initially I could not figure out why the shore power would not connect. Some basic continuity checks of my cable revealed two shorts and an outright break in the cable. Replaced the cable as well as the take up reel (see other WOG thread for details about this project) and the transfer to shore power now works perfectly.

17. Setup - The Magnum manual details how to setup all the functions via the Remote. Date, time, battery pack capacity, etc and they are self explanatory. This inverter has extensive capability to be custom configured and that will come in handy should I convert to lithium. That's one of the reasons I bought this model/brand inverter. Stay tuned for that project (after the solar is installed later this year).

18. Enjoy the easily configurable and smooth clean power this inverter provides your expensive/sensitive electronics, computers, microwave, hair dryers and other motors!

Additional parts or you will need:
1) 4 - 1-1/2" x 1/4" bolts, nuts, flat washers, lock washers
2) 4 - Brass 3-0 spade lug crimp connectors (for shunt and extra ground cable)
3) 1 length each 3M shrink fit insulation - 1", 1/2", 1/4"
4) Approximately 2 feet of 4-0 cable
5) Several lengths split black plastic cable covers and/or 3M shrink-to-fit cable protectors of correct diameter
6) Several 5 amp blade style inline auto 12 volt fuses with housings
7) 1 male to 2 female (or 1 to 3 for Internet option) telephone plug adapter. You can also daisy chain short phone cables from one box to the next, per the Magnum manual
8) Package zip ties & several large cable clamps to secure cables/wiring
9) Can spray foam to seal holes that must be drilled in floor
10) Acetone cleaner and gloves for above
11) Did I mention lots of patience and spare time?

Recommended tools (in addition to basic hand tools):
Hydraulic cable-lug press/crimper purchased from eBay - about $40
Heat gun (for 3M shrink fit insulation)
Drill with assorted bits
A small battery powered impact "wrench" (love my Milwaukee 12 volt) and it sure made things easier

rrueckwald 04-26-2015 08:06 AM


Now THAT was really professional. Thank you! This will be really useful. I'm about to install two. I need to sell the working Trace and scrap the other.

Rick Davis 04-26-2015 09:44 AM

I sure like that control panel better than the Xantrex Freedom's.

NoGas 01-31-2016 02:24 PM

Magnum PT-100 Solar Charge Controller "Add-on"
Just received my new Magnum PT-100 solar charge controller and am pouring over the manual. Realize the solar guys love their Trimetric/Midnight setups but this completely networked system promises bring the different sources of my electrical supply together, while it works seamlessly with the MS2812 and its remote. The Magnum remote even has a PT menu tree all ready to go! Plus with the larger panel array I'm planning, the PT-100's higher 100 amp capability makes multiple charge controllers unnecessary. More to follow as I order and put together other parts of this new solar system :).

Wholesale Solar Video - http://youtu.be/vVW5NIyjg2M
Specs sheet - http://pdf.wholesalesolar.com/contro...eet_201406.pdf
Manual - http://pdf.wholesalesolar.com/contro...Man-201406.pdf

Dc2x4drvr 03-03-2016 11:11 PM

I, with Van's help just installed a Magnum MS2812 in my 380 while in Mesa, fairly straightforward install, but you never have all the bits and pieces in stock, so a hardware store run had to be done and Van knows the best hardware store in Phoenix😀
Thanks Van

Dc2x4drvr 03-05-2016 01:10 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here's a pic of a panel I had made to mount the Magnum's control panel, it also covers part of the old opening. I don't know why it's sideways:))

Tim T. 03-05-2016 01:31 PM

What's the panel made of and how did you get the bird logo on it?:)

Dc2x4drvr 03-05-2016 06:34 PM

1 Attachment(s)
The panel is some kind of acrylic, the entire piece was done with a laser, here's the info if you're interested. Basically Phil can do almost any lettering project, cut and drill plastics, and even etch aluminum.
Good guy!

Tim T. 03-05-2016 07:53 PM


Dennis 06-18-2017 07:29 PM

Thanks for the detailed installation. I know next to nothing about which inverter is better than another. What I do know is my RV3012 has (according to the company tech) a bad shunt and they no longer supply that part. The inverter still works, but the percent of charge is completely unreliable; one minute it shows 100% the next 89%, then 85% then 92%. Even when the generator has run for hours or connected to shore power the numbers are all over the place. I thought the house batteries had reached the end of their life and replaced them; now I have my doubts. All this to say is I want to replace the RV3012. Why did you choose the Magnum over the Freedom SW3012 which I understand is the current replacement model for the RV3012? And what kind of cost should I expect if I have it professionally installed? As always thanks for you help.

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