Progressive Dynamics Converter 9160 and Charge Wizard Project

After getting tired of adding water to my batteries and them never getting an actual full charge I decided on a change. After research I found that many 5’ers and travel trailers come with a “less expensive” basic converters. Many do not manage the charge to your batteries well in that when you are plugged in they constantly charge your batteries and never give them an actual full charge. In addition the constant charge means you have to often check and ad water to the batteries. With the Progressive Dynamics 9160 Converter combined with the Charge Wizard you get great DC power management along with proper battery charging and maintenance resulting in a managed charge to your batteries and less water loss. The install went pretty smooth and here is a link on such a project. A must see! The Charge Wizard is fantastic and you can read more on it here. Below are some pics of what I bought and installed. The new reconditioned converter and new charge Wizard were approx. $225 delivered to my door.

This along with 2 new Trojan SCS 150 batteries I have plenty of power (over 200 amp hours) and my batteries are well maintained. Batteries were approx. $120 each. The batteries are fully charged in about 2 hours with my Honda 2000 generator. What a big difference in battery and power management! A couple years ago I spent nearly 6 weeks on a dry camping trip to test everything while I was dealing with a family illness. It all went well and everything performed to my expectations and then some. batteries only wind up needing distilled water added maybe twice a year. Read more on the link above on the charge wizard and it explains a bit more why. This is a project I wish I had done earlier and if i ever order a new coach these will be done to the rig from the get go. there are other good converters and batteries to go with, these are just what I chose and went with especially because of the charge Wizard and the project was very cost effective compared to others. Others do a lot more and of course cost ore however in my case everything has been great and performed well. I have had my son and a few others as well do the same upgrade and are extremely happy with the results and low cost in comparison to other similar type projects.







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  3. Tony Cornett

    First of all I don’t let my batteries get less than 50% discharged if possible. That is bad for them actually according to Trojan. Based on that despite what the “charts” might show the winning combo for me has proven itself as a few others have indicated. Charge time will depend on the state of the batteries of course and I’ve found in my case 2-4 hours usually does the trick and this has been proven with battery tests on my batteries,. 😉

    The Boost mode as you indicate above does it’s job well. Your figures appear to be based on a battery fully discharged. I never in 7 years have allowed that. Both Trojan and the battery shop advised me once again if avoidable to try and not let your batteries drop below 50% and if they do sure it will take longer to charge. It’s a very dependable and smart system and has proven itself well. Much better than my stock MagnaTech converter without the Charge Wizard. (with my extended run time tank/another whole blog). Many times while dry camping I’ll run my generator a good part of the day. If my batteries (which they usually do) get peaked out the charge wizard simply puts them into the storage mode keeping them ready to go. It worked so well on my 6 week dry camping trip I can’t say enough about it.

  4. Fred

    Tony, I quote this line from your article. “The batteries are fully charged in about 2 hours with my Honda 2000 generator.” It is irrelevant whether you used the Honda generator or shore power.

    I have a problem with terms such as “fully” that imply, but don’t give an actual percent value. If you are saying that both batteries were fully charged to 100% in 2 hours, that seems to conflict with Progressive Dynamics’ specifications charts as shown on this link page:

    On that page, the Charge Wizard test shows two charts, one of converter voltage vs. time and one of battery % charge vs. time.

    1) The converter voltage chart shows boost mode converter output voltage of 14.4 volts for 3 hours (see their note below) to take the (assume one) battery to 90%.

    It then states that with converter voltage still at 14.4 volts, it took 11 hours to go to 100%.

    In normal converter output voltage of 13.6 volts, it took 40 hours to go to 90%. Then safely charges to 100% in 78 hours.

    2) The battery % of charge chart roughly shows that a battery fully discharged to 10.5 volts doesn’t reach 100% until about 15 hours of charge time in boost mode or until about 75 hours in normal mode.

    The Company’s test charts show charging of one battery. If you are charging two batteries, the time would take even longer.

    The mathmatical formula for beginning state of % discharge vs ending state of 100% full charge over time is complicated, so I won’t show it here. Somehow, if your figures are correct, then both of your batteries were probably not fully discharged to 10.5 volts. In fact I suggest they were somewhere very near 100% at the beginning of your charging time of (about) 2 hours.

    Here is their note at the bottom of the web page:
    The chart (for battery%) above shows the amount of time it took a PD9155 (55-amp) converter set to three different output voltages to recharge a 125 AH (Amp Hour) battery after it was fully discharged to 10.5-volts.

    14.4-VOLTS (Boost Mode) – Returned the battery to 90% of full charge in approximately 3-hours. The battery reached full charge in approximately 11 hours.

    13.6-VOLTS (Normal Mode) – Required 40-hours to return the battery to 90% of full charge and 78-hours to reach full charge.

    13.2-VOLTS (Storage Mode) – Required 60-hours to return the battery to 90% of full charge and 100-hours to reach full charge.

    Travel safe, Fred

  5. Tony Cornett

    GMAs thanks for your input, buy my “cigar” has worked out great the last 3 years compared to the stock converter and batteries. 😉 The charge wizard which utilizes the desulfation mode once every 24 hours has not once ever caused any type of interference of my electronic stuff. The Charge Wizard is just that a battery minder.

    As far as my batteries now after 2 years (Trojans bought after the converter) have held a great charge and have held their rated amp hours just fine, especially compared to before.

    The info on the Charge Wizard in the link above explains it well and defines the charging. Desulfation and the boost mode which keeps the batt’s topped off and when not in use such as using hookups your batteries are put in a “storage mode” and not being constantly charged (boiled if you will) as they would be with most stock converters thus reducing battery maintenance in needing to ad water as often. The link above explains it pretty well. After a 6 week dry camping adventure during a family illness the setup has proven itself to me. 😉

    Ironically the first person to bring this all up to me was the owner of a battery store in the central valley and one of our moderators who did the same thing. I had a long conversation with the folks at Trojan as well who helped me solidify my justification on the project. The old Magna Tech converter just sat there day in and day out with no desulfation and a constant charge which is not good for your batteries and one of the reason you have to check the fluid level so often. I now have a great converter, a great charging system (Charge Wizard) which properly maintain my batteries and keep them in great shape.

    Being the anal guy I am about these projects after a year and my batteries supposedly fully charged I took them down to my buddies shop in the valley while I was there and he load tested them and a few other things. He was impressed and kindly reminded me who originally turned me on to the whole idea. There are several products out that will do about the same thing, but in my case I went with the most cost effective.

    I’m not sure you read my whole post and researched the Charge Wizard as it does all the things you mention needed for good and proper battery maintenance??? Every thing you mention I have??? Trojan said the same thing you said and when I told them my plan and what I was using and doing they said BINGO!

    I think you need to go back and read the post again and everything I have and how it works 😉


  6. GMAs

    Well… as they say .. close but no cigar…

    Chargeing batts is more complex than just that. You mention that you never got a full charge on them with the old charger… could it be they sulfated and you never would be able to get the full capacity out of them again?

    Right out of the box the batteries of the flooded kind have started to dimenish in capacty due to that process… so you never will ever get the full cap out of them again…

    Charge and charge and you will only boil the battery from the small good part that is left doing the work

    The fix is in…
    What you want is not only a charger that will bring them up to full charge.. voltage… but also want to break up the sulfation that keeps them from producing the full cap (current value)

    If you don’t have a de-sulfinator on the batteries all the time… which it won’t hurt ’em if you do… then your only charging the battery us to the amount of cell that is left un-effected by the sulfation process. (one reasion the seem to recover and get to that full voltage much quicker than they used to… but is you do the current demand test on them you quickly find out they have about half (figure) of their rated amp capacaty and the voltage then fails more quickly also… (the lights go dim quicker)

    So it may not be the charger but instead your batteries that can be having the problem…

    Many new battery chargers come with the new (high tech) desulfinators built in… and give you the max battery life you can possibly expect… (each time you charge and discharge them you shorten their cap just a little more) from normal useage…

    Well my two cents worth…

    I used to replace batts every two years… now I have had the same set which produce 95% of their new cap for over 4 with the new desulfinator working all the time on charge… just remember its a pulsation device and can raise hell with the radio or tv… when you have it on line…

  7. M H Bell

    I can attest to the fact that this works and would be a good upgrade for anyone. I did the same thing almost a year ago after having to replace my coach batteries and the converter in my Motor Home. Have not had to add water yet to the batteries. The batteries are always maintained and the plates desulfated every 21 days because of the battery maintainer. A great combination.

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