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Author Topic: Inverters Magnum or Xantrex  (Read 5669 times)
scanzel
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« on: June 29, 2007, 08:38:19 AM »

Are the Xantrex 4024 and Magnum MS 4024 made by the same company even though they show different addresses in Washington? Also opinions on each are appreciated. Is anybody using any of the Magnum inverters? Huh
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Steve Canzellarini
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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2007, 08:53:54 AM »

Xantrex bought out Heart, Trace, and a few other inverter manufacturers.

Magnum is a seperate company formed by folks who used to work at Trace or one of the other companies Xantrex bought out.  Magnum inverters are supposed to be real good, but they are hard to find.  Some of the RV makers are starting to use them.
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Jerry Liebler
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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2007, 09:01:31 AM »

If you are looking at the 4024 versions from both companies, be careful.  The Xantrex has a full 60 amp transfer capability while the Magnum has 2 x 30 amp transfer relays. And most important to me is ONLY the Xantrex will supplement, with battery power, a small shorecord to start heavy loads.  This allows, for example, starting an air conditioner on a 15 amp shore cord.  Also the Magnum 4024 has a pretty poor efficiency.
Regards
Jerry 4107 1120   
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2007, 03:18:30 PM »

Hi Scanzel,

The Xantrax has a much better control panel then the Magnum too.

In comparason, the xantrax has a fully digital readout of all your parameters like volts, amps, and charge rate both in and out of your batts and land lines.

Magnum has a little more then idiot lights to give you information.  No contest!

Good Luck
Nick-
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Mrbill4108
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« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2007, 03:46:24 PM »

I bought the Magnum MS 4024, Magnum, has over 1100 steps in the sign wave, canít see them on an Oíscope.   
Xantrex has around 50 and has to go through 3 transformers to make a clean sign wave. 
Xantrex twice as heavy as Magnum due to extra transformers. 
The bells and whistles of the Xantrex I didnít need and for almost $1k less the Magnum MS4024 was for me.   
I use a Link 10 (E-Meter) on dash to look at batteries, much easier then the control panel of the Xantrex.
   
Itís all in what you need for features.
I donít plan on needing the inverter to help if Iím on a 15 amp shore cord, cause sooner or later the inverter needs to charge the batteries and A/C and battery charger canít work on a 15 amp service.

My 2 cents,

Mrbill4108
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Jerry Liebler
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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2007, 05:00:26 PM »

Mrbill4108,
    It all depends on the AC.  My 18,000 BTU/h ductlees split uses 13 amps running in 95 degree weather.
Regards
Jerry 4107 1120
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Mrbill4108
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« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2007, 07:10:55 AM »

Jerry,

That still only gives the charger 2 amp and it will take more then that for it to start the charge cycle.  So how is the Xantrex going to charge the batteries?  Which it will try once it uses them.   

Big thing is how often is this really an issue? 
Most parks even the older ones have 30 amp service, granted some say 30 but you may only really have about a 20 amp service. 

As for the transfer relay 2x30 is 60, just tie the 2- 30ís together if you don't want to transfer a 50 amp service, Magnum also transfers the neutral in that relay.   One less transfer relay needed. 

Another deciding factor that I didn't mention is when I called both companies only Magnum had someone answer the phone and was willing to answer all my questions before and now after the sale.  Great customer support with Magnum.   

Like I said to me saving $ís and not having a few bells and whistles that I most likely didn't really need was my final decision. 

The history of Outback & Magnum, both where started when the engineers that worked for Trace didn't like the way Xantrex was headed.   So they went off and started these two companies.  Both companies where very helpful in giving knowledge of inverters so that I could make up my mind as to what I really needed. 

True the control panel of the Magnum does not give you a lot of info, it gives you the charge mode it's in when charging along with volts and amps of charge. Lets you set incoming line amps from 5-50amps, also lets you set battery charge rate.   That's all I've used so far.  It also has setup and tech modes to run diagnostics on the inverter. 

I have an analog AC volt meter that we've had for years that stays plugged in the kitchen area, that way anyone can see if we are using too much power.  Have the wife & kids trained on that little item.   

Anyway one must figure out what you need the inverter for before you get one.  I wanted one to run an A/C down the road instead of always running the generator. I've had it run both roof A/C's for up to an hour without any problems.  Mostly we use it to run one A/C and when we need two we start the generator.    Also if space is a consideration and the Xantrex is bigger and heavier then the Magnum. 

No matter which one you decide to get Steve, Magnum, Outback or Xantrex, make sure it will do what you want it to do,  that's the bottom line. 
They all seem to make a quality product.

Good Luck,
Mrbill4108
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2007, 09:07:03 AM »


I have an analog AC volt meter that we've had for years that stays plugged in the kitchen area, that way anyone can see if we are using too much power.  Have the wife & kids trained on that little item.   
I also prefer an analog meter for troubleshooting, but I do not understand how you can see if you are using too much power with it. Can you explain.
Richard
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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2007, 09:28:23 AM »

Anyone use TrippLite inverters?  How do they stack up against the Magnum and Xantrex?
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bruceknee
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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2007, 09:32:32 AM »

If you do decide on the Magnum, I have a brand new one in the box that I will sell for $1,875.00 plus shipping. I also have one installed in my coach and am very happy with it.
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Mrbill4108
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« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2007, 10:47:23 AM »

We watch the voltage when we turn things on, if it goes down with say, just the A/C on then we know the power supplied is poor.  We then use power management (watch what we turn).  If you are at a place that has good power, you will not be able to tell if you are using too many amps until you trip a breaker.  The voltage meter just lets you know when the amp draw is too much for the supplied power.   

The meter is just a simple way to watch the incoming power for low voltage.   Remember when voltage goes down amp draw goes up.  So if youíre A/C draws 15 amps at 120vac then at 110vac it will be drawing around 16.5 amps or more and the compressor starts to heat up because of the higher amp draw. 
Thats why you should watch the incoming voltage.

We limit our A/C run time when voltage goes below 105vac.  Give the compressor time to cool between cycles.

Mrbill4108
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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2007, 12:17:50 PM »

Fair enough. Thanks. Sounds like a good idea.
Richard


We watch the voltage when we turn things on, if it goes down with say, just the A/C on then we know the power supplied is poor.  We then use power management (watch what we turn).  If you are at a place that has good power, you will not be able to tell if you are using too many amps until you trip a breaker.  The voltage meter just lets you know when the amp draw is too much for the supplied power.   

The meter is just a simple way to watch the incoming power for low voltage.   Remember when voltage goes down amp draw goes up.  So if youíre A/C draws 15 amps at 120vac then at 110vac it will be drawing around 16.5 amps or more and the compressor starts to heat up because of the higher amp draw. 
Thats why you should watch the incoming voltage.

We limit our A/C run time when voltage goes below 105vac.  Give the compressor time to cool between cycles.

Mrbill4108
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« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2007, 05:50:47 PM »

...   Remember when voltage goes down amp draw goes up...


This is not true in a general sense.  It is true only for constant-power loads such as synchronous motors.

Most loads in a coach (air conditioners are the notable exception) are resistive loads.  So when voltage goes down, so does current, in a direct 1-1 relationship.

The formula, Ohm's law, is E=IR (or V=IR if you prefer) where "E" is voltage in volts (RMS volts will suffice for AC loads), "I" is current in amperes, and "R" is resistance in ohms.  When resistance is constant, current varies directly with voltage.

Where the confusion often comes in is when comparing current needs in electrical systems of different voltage.  A 24-volt system will need only half the current of a 12-volt system for a given amount of power.  But that's because you need all different devices for those two systems.  A 10-watt light bulb for a 12-volt system is different than a 10-watt light bulb for a 24-volt system.  They both use the same amount of power, but have different internal resistance.  The formula is P=EI, or P=E^2/R.  When the input voltage on your shore cord drops from 120VAC to 110VAC, the resistance of your light bulbs (or your coffeemaker, toaster, etc.) does not change -- so they draw less current, not more.  Of course, you also get less light (or it takes longer to make toast).

FWIW.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2007, 07:00:35 PM »

Hi Sean,

I was wondering about that theory..

In dealing with alot of refrigeration compressors, I often wondered about when voltage drops, why does the amp draw increase.

That only happens with compressors and motors but, not other appliances like light bulbs and so fourth..

How do theese motors know to try and keep a certain rpm?

Thanks
Nick-
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« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2007, 07:06:09 PM »

Are the Xantrex 4024 and Magnum MS 4024 made by the same company ...?

No, they are not.

Quote
Also opinions on each are appreciated.


I have a Xantrex, and, like Jerry, I am very happy with it.  That being said, Xantrex has spiraled into a customer-service quagmire, and it is getting harder and harder to recommend their products.

Other than the customer service issue, well addressed by mrbill, there are several other factors you need to consider:

First off, Xantrex actually now makes two very different 4024 products, the SW4024-MC2, and the SW+4024.  So it's important to know which one you are comparing.  The SW4024-MC2 is actually an older product, but is the one currently marketed (and approved) for mobile installations.  It is, IMO, a better product than the newer SW+4024, as it includes several features as standard that are extra-cost options on the SW+.  Also, the SW+ does not carry the approvals for mobile use, if that matters to you.

Neither of these units includes a ground-to-neutral bonding relay, which complicates the installation, as you will need to add that yourself externally.  The Magnum includes an automatic bond relay internally.

Both of the Xantrex units were designed for grid-tie applications (although the SW4024-MC2 has had the controls for grid-tie removed from the menus).  This means they have the capability to synchronize their output waveforms to that of the input power, which is what enables them to operate in "load support" mode that Jerry mentioned earlier.  They also both have the capability to support both input and output currents of 60A.  The combination of these two features means that you can, for example, run three air conditioners while connected to a 30-amp shore service.  You will be drawing power from your batteries while you do this, but we find it an important and useful feature -- we often run an air conditioner when connected to only a 15A shore service, for example, where that same service then charges the batteries overnight when, perhaps, A/C is not needed.  But we're weird.

The Xantrex units also have separate inputs for grid and generator, and an internal transfer switch.  You might just ignore this, though, because the single-leg/no-neutral design of these switches makes them incredibly difficult to use in a motorcoach application (you can see what we had to go through on this issue here: http://ourodyssey.us/bus-e-ats.html).

In contrast, the Magnum has no internal transfer switch, other than between its own output and AC input.  And that transfer switch is limited to 30 amps of output power.  That being said, it does have a two-pole switch, so you can run a 4-wire, 240/120VAC service through it, but you will be limited to a total of 30 amps per leg.  If you can live with this limitation, it makes installation a snap, and the only external component you will need to add for a generator installation is an external automatic or manual 30 amp three-pole transfer switch.  (BTW, it does not have a neutral-switching transfer switch as someone suggested earlier -- the neutral is hard-wired straight through.  The only neutral switching involves ground bonding.)

The limitations in switches and indicator lights that have been mentioned are easily surmounted by purchasing Magnum's remote control panel, which includes a multi-function knob and a display.

The Xantrex is more efficient (94% vs. 86%), and has a larger battery charger (150 amps vs. 105 amps).  The Magnum is quite a bit smaller and lighter (48lbs vs. 105lbs).

In short, as has already been said, it really comes down to which features are important to you.  Or, if you want the best of both worlds and don't mind spending a bit extra for it, get an Outback.

HTH.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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