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Waeco CF50 issues - help wanted

Discussion in 'Expedition Builds' started by BMThiker, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. BMThiker

    BMThiker I aim to misbehave Moderator SILVER Star

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    Anyone with direct Waeco experience, please read and add comments below.

    I've had a Waeco CF50 (12/24v DC only model) in my truck for 4 years now. It has run just about 24/7 since I installed it. I recently added Anderson power plugs to the main power supply cord, thus making the end providing the power interchangeable. I added the Anderson power plugs to the pigtail on the factory cig lighter plug to match up. I then created another pigtail with power plugs and wired directly to my auxilliary fuse panel. The whole plan was to eliminate the cig lighter plug and run the wires along the inside of the door sill. As soon as I plugged my new direct power source wires into my fridge I got a solid red error light. The compressor does not run, nor does the light on the inside come on.

    The only time I've seen the red light come on, it typically flashes indicating a voltage drop overnight. I tried contacting Waeco/Dometic USA last week and amazingly got through the maze of extensions and menu options. The guy was pretty terse and said the solid red light means that I have a loose wire on the main board. So I asked him if opening the casing and checking the wires for loose connections was all I had to do - he replied yes.

    So I went about disassembling the fridge's cabinet and checking all the wiring connections. Removing each connection one at a time and checking for cracks, corrosion, etc., I confirm that each wire is indeed still intact and nothing is brittle or corroded or not terminated. While I have it in the house I plug it into the OEM AC inverter. This is the one branded Mobitronic and actually produces 24v DC from 110v/220v AC. Still the same solid red light with no compressor or interior light. Solid red error light only.

    Next I remove the control panel from the top edge to reveal the thermostat control board. It has one ribbon connector that appears to be seat correctly and no other signs of shorts or cracks on this board either.

    I try going back to Waeco's website to find that phone number again and cannot locate what I previously had found. I try some of the other numbers and cannot find a tech support dept that handles the portable refrigeration equipment. I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone when I start navigating their website, circling back around to somewhere that seems familiar but slightly different. I find a resource guide for all of their service centers listed by state. I call a couple in the Atlanta area and they seem perplexed as to why they are listed on Waeco/Dometic's website. One is a Cummims Power Diesel Service Center and he says they used to service old Dometic fridges, but had never heard of Waeco. The other guy I called said they only do gas absorption type fridge repair found in RV's.

    So, now I'm calling on fellow MUD members to help me out. I don't have any real electrical experience - so asking me to put a voltmeter on something is not going to happen. Your wisdom is welcome.
     

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  2. MutleyFJ62

    MutleyFJ62

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    BMT, putting a voltmeter at the end of your anderson extension to see what you are getting is the only way to see what is going on, you don't need any experience for that. I suspect you have voltage drop with the new terminals and crimping/soldiering of your anderson connections.

    Secondly, move the starting point of your power supply line to the battery. This gets a direct feed from the alternator and is more reliable, place an inline fuse on the positive side.

    I have a CF110 wired into the back of my 60 with this method.
     
  3. BMThiker

    BMThiker I aim to misbehave Moderator SILVER Star

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    OK, I could have been more clear on the voltmeter comment. I did have a friend put a meter coming off all my power sources in the truck. Reading adequate voltage with the vehicle off through the new plugs to the end of the power cord that goes into the fridge. Around 11.8-11.9v. I meant that I'm not good at identifying parts on a circuit board to put a volt meter on.

    Thanks for helping clear my thoughts on this.
     
  4. NQCruiser

    NQCruiser

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    If it was me I'd be happier to see about 12.5V at the end of your cable. Have you tried starting the vehicle and running it with the fridge on? Does the voltage go up and make the red light go away?

    EDIT: OK that would be the flashing red light I'm thinking of, but I would still expect to see similar volts at the anderson plug as I would at the battery if the connections are done right. Also, test both side of the anderson plug to see if it is a crimp/solder problem.
     
  5. LandCruiserPhil

    LandCruiserPhil Peter Pan Syndrome Supporting Vendor

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    I hate to say this but.....The only time have hear the same problem was when polarity was reversed. Are you sure you have it right?
     
  6. roscoFJ73

    roscoFJ73

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    Can you get it running correctly without your new wiring?

    I also would be happier with 12.5volts+. I think Im getting 13.5v 3 metres from the battery with the engine idling.

    On the subject of support,Ive heard of americans getting good support from the australian distributors if you send a nicely worded email explaining the difficulties with the US support service
     
  7. BMThiker

    BMThiker I aim to misbehave Moderator SILVER Star

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    I am getting significantly higher voltage with the truck running (13.5-14v). And it was reading 11.8-11.9 after sitting overnight. It reads 12v or above after a bit of a charge. We also double checked polarity and that is correctly oriented. I honestly think there is something wrong with the internal board/controller and not the power cable or power source.

    I think the addition of the power plugs was coincidental to the error I'm getting. The only power cable that came with this fridge has a cig plug end because the fridge is a DC model only that will auto-select between 12 or 24 volts. It didn't come with a two/three prong AC power cable. I have plugged the fridge in with the original cig plug, and into several different sources of 12v power. I even plugged it into the factory AC to DC inverter which receives the factory cig plug. The only thing special about the inverter is that it only outputs 24v. I found that out the hard way when I plugged my mattress inflator into it. It made the inflator run like a turbo, until the little blue smoke escaped. And we all know that once the blue smoke leaves the device, it's spirit is gone.

    Anyway, I guess I will try wiring it directly to a car battery to see if I can eliminate anything in the fuse panel or power cable. Thanks for the tip on contacting Australian distributors too.
     
  8. LandCruiserPhil

    LandCruiserPhil Peter Pan Syndrome Supporting Vendor

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    My CF50 runs with voltage between 11.5 - 14.0+ with no issues. It is not uncommon to see car voltage at 14+volts when charging. I dont think your problem is voltage to the fridge.
     
  9. tag3

    tag3 Doofus SILVER Star

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    When my brother hooked my CF50 up backwards, it would still run in the emergency mode. Solid red light was the main board fried, I think about $65 from Waeco and fridge is back to 100%.
     
  10. BMThiker

    BMThiker I aim to misbehave Moderator SILVER Star

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    Mine does not run in emergency mode. I'm afraid the main board may be the issue. I will keep posting as progress unfolds.
     
  11. tag3

    tag3 Doofus SILVER Star

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    Center pin on cig plug is the positive. I would double check the hook up on the new plugs.
     
  12. 69vortec

    69vortec SILVER Star

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    When I wired my power connector wrong it blew a small fuse on the elex board. I soldered in a new one and have not had a problem.
     
  13. BMThiker

    BMThiker I aim to misbehave Moderator SILVER Star

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    Thanks! I will inspect the board again for said fuse.
     
  14. 69vortec

    69vortec SILVER Star

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    It was a small fuse soldered directly to the board. I think it was covered in shrink tubing. If that is the problem it should still run in emergency mode as the board is bypassed and the compressor is powered directly.
     
  15. BMThiker

    BMThiker I aim to misbehave Moderator SILVER Star

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    hmmm, I got nothing in emergency mode, not even the light inside compartment is coming on. But the red light on the control panel is coming on/staying on, so it's getting juice somehow. I'll inspect the main board tonight and report what I find.
     
  16. BMThiker

    BMThiker I aim to misbehave Moderator SILVER Star

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    Ok, got some pics of the innards...
    I uncovered the little 3.5A fuse (pictured almost dead center of board), but cannot tell if it is blown. I will see about replacing it before doing anything else.
    WaecoCF50_DC (3).jpg WaecoCF50_DC (4).jpg WaecoCF50_DC (7).jpg
     
  17. tag3

    tag3 Doofus SILVER Star

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    Any updates on this issue?
     
  18. tag3

    tag3 Doofus SILVER Star

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    No really What did you find out?
     
  19. BMThiker

    BMThiker I aim to misbehave Moderator SILVER Star

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    Sorry for the delay in reporting. I have not given this much attention lately because I don't know where to buy a 3.5A fuse that small, nor do I know anyone that is good at soldering. Been working long hours which makes dropping this thing off somewhere next to impossible. Another friend suggested just jumping the spot where the fuse is soldered, since the power source goes through it's own fuse and separate circuit breaker...not too keen on that as a permanent solution, but may try a temporary jumper to see if I can at least get the compressor to come on.
     
  20. Bogo

    Bogo FOOF

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    Fast blow: Digi-Key - F2446-ND (Manufacturer - 022403.5HXP)
    Slow blow: Digi-Key - F2491-ND (Manufacturer - 023003.5HXP)

    If those aren't the right size then there may be others at Digikey. Use their search and search for fuse. The two above are 2AG size 5x15mm There is a smaller size that is only 11mm long. When searching I always check the In Stock box. Also look at the minimum quantities for a part. Some are in the 100s or 1000s. Those are bulk for manufacturing. Look for the ones that have a minimum of 1.

    You could likely put any leaded 3.5 Amp regular blow fuse in there if you can bend the leads right and keep it from contacting other bits.

    Note, Digikey has a minimum order amount. Under it they charge you $5 handling. Shipping is actual cost via UPS. They have all the bits that electronic devices are made out of. Project boxes, cigarette lighter plugs and sockets, wire, heat shrink tubing, wire loom, spiral wrap, chips, CPUs, LEDs, resistors, etc.. I find it very easy to get over their minimum.