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IOTA have listened


Grampy OG

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"IOTA have listened" or "I ought to have listened"

Having read numerous posts about the IOTA transfer switch I was constantly checking my connections and all seemed well. Unfortunately checking didn't mean anything. I returned home to find no power and upon tracing the problems I found a burnt shore power plug and upon following that found the burnt out IOTA. 

Initially I replaced the unit with the ATF that is often recommended by other Monacoers (LPT50BRD 50 Amp Automatic Transfer Switch). After completing the install I just wasn't happy with switch. I felt the terminal strips were cheap and that the Philips head screws didn't supply enough torque for my satisfaction. 

I pulled it all out and replace the unit with a Technology Research (41260 Surge Guard 50 Amp Automatic Transfer Switch. A much more heavy duty unit with huge transfer switches and Allen head bolts for the terminal connections. I also added ferrules to all of the 6 gauge wiring for added strength. 

Since everything was apart and expend I took another step and hardwired a 50amp  receptacle between the shore power and the transfer switch. I can now plug in my Progressive and Hughes Autoformer inside my electrical bay and no longer have to hang the mess from the shore power pole. I know that Progressive makes an inline suppressor but since they replaced my fried unit at no charge I wasn't about to pop another $400 for an inline mode. The benefit of this is that the equipment is locked in a weather tight bay and is secure from theft. An added benefit is if I blow the transfer switch I can just unplug the Progressive and plug the transfer switch into the receptacle and off I go. 

Lesson learned, if you still have an IOTA get rid of it. 

Ken

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Wow, you really dodged a bullet!

No truer words are better spoken than from someone who is lucky enough to have "dodged a bullet". Yet I am positive that there are still members here that have IOTA transfer switches installed in their coaches. It's just a matter of time for them, not IF but WHEN.

Hopefully, they will also discover it before any MAJOR damage has been done or worse yet a complete loss of coach along with surrounding collateral damage.

Great job on the installation! Looks clean and well thought out. What baffles me is why Monaco combined water and electric in the same bay.

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Wow that is a CLEAN looking install, i have been looking at the transfere switchs on amazon, several different models of the same thing with different prices. So as i see it the differences is the level of software that controls it? Or is it the surge protection? 
One more thing you said if you blow the transfere switch you can just unplug the progressive an just plug the switch directly into the recptical an off you go? Did you mean if you blow the progressive you can plug the switch in directly an keep going?

i ask cause i still have a IOTA that im going to replace an use in line with my big dog.

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2 hours ago, Rikadoo said:

Wow that is a CLEAN looking install, i have been looking at the transfere switchs on amazon, several different models of the same thing with different prices. So as i see it the differences is the level of software that controls it? Or is it the surge protection? 
One more thing you said if you blow the transfere switch you can just unplug the progressive an just plug the switch directly into the recptical an off you go? Did you mean if you blow the progressive you can plug the switch in directly an keep going?

i ask cause i still have a IOTA that im going to replace an use in line with my big dog.

Sorry I mistyped. If the Progressive blows I can unhook it and plug the transfer switch straight into shore power. The 50amp receptacle is actually at the end of my shore power cord. In most installs that cord would be hardwired into the transfer switch alongside the generator input feed. I elected to put the receptacle at the end of the shore power cable and then I hardwired a molded 50amp plug into the transfer switch. The plug was a nice clean find as they are already made and MOLDED and readily available at HD/Lowes. They are sold as 50amp-6gauge stove plugs. 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/HDX-6-ft-50-Amp-4-Prong-Range-Power-Cord-HD-575-052/100672796?MERCH=REC-_-searchViewed-_-NA-_-100672796-_-N

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-50-Amp-Single-Surface-Mounted-Single-Outlet-Black-R20-55050-P00/311373554

 

The plug on my shore power was burned up in the mess so I put a temporary 50amp replacement plug on just so that I could get power. I am not a fan of replacement plugs in environments where they will receive lots of pulling, tugging, weather etc. When time permitted I cut the plug back off and using another HD molded plug I used 6gauge but connectors to splice the new plug onto my shore power cord. Whew crimping those isn't for the feint of heart. I staggered each connector so as to not create bulk in the line. Each connection was wrapped in heavy duty heat shrink tape. I then put 3 layers of heat shrink tape over the entire splice. It is pretty d*** strong now and I feel comfortable with it. A replacement cord from Glendenning would have been to the tune of $300+ dollars. A few more pictures to complete the rebuild. 

BTW: Don't forget to add heat shrink tubes before you butt connect or you get to start over - duh for me - 

Thanks for the compliments and support,

Ken 

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Edited by Grampy OG
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Hey Grampy i have a question, where does your power ENTER the coach? Is there a recepticel on the outside that has like a twist lock plug or ??? Mine comes in thru a large extension cord to the inside of the cabnit, uses a twist lock that other end goes to the IOTA. Just trying to visulise how to stream line my electric…

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To each their own but that's not how I would have repaired the Plug End of the 50 amp shore power cord which gets a lot of handling and abuse. Shrink Tubing will not hold up like the thick SOOW casing that came on the cord originally.

I hope it works for you for all of the trouble that you went through to accomplish your objective.

BTW, I have successfully used those CAMCO replacement 50 amp plugs on extension cords and Pedestal/Power Testers that I build and sell. It's just a matter of the method of assembly and waterproofing.

Good luck and safe travels.

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I just replaced my IOTA transfer switch. The picture shows a teal weakness in the connections on the terminal strip. Note some of the wires are only gripped across about 1/3 of their  section. Had they crimped sleeves over the ends it would be much better. But two stranded wires under one screw is asking for trouble. 

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4 hours ago, RNMCBR said:

I just replaced my IOTA transfer switch. The picture shows a teal weakness in the connections on the terminal strip. Note some of the wires are only gripped across about 1/3 of their  section. Had they crimped sleeves over the ends it would be much better. But two stranded wires under one screw is asking for trouble. 

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I can see how that is a big problem. I used these ferrules and I feel much better about it. 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I9E0X0A?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

I had to buy this crimper to do the large gauge but I am sure it was $30 well spent. 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R8LF34F?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

Ken

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/28/2021 at 3:55 PM, Grampy OG said:

I can see how that is a big problem. I used these ferrules and I feel much better about it. 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I9E0X0A?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

I had to buy this crimper to do the large gauge but I am sure it was $30 well spent. 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R8LF34F?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details

Ken

Ken what do you think was suspect for this whole scenario that played out. Did it start with the male plug getting hot and work its way back to the Transfer Switch just wondering? I plan on doing the change out but just curious about all those extra plugs. With your install were  you happy with the crimpers ability to do the job? Also I’m trying to find the ferrules with the collars on them can’t find any larger than 7ga. 

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I ordered the Surge Guard TS and will start on it soon. Removed the tray slide to gain better access. Waiting for crimper to come in.
What was discovered to be the design issue with these IOTA TS? Are users not managing their loads prior to engagement of the power. I just wonder about all these extra devices we put inline using cord plugs? Guilty myself. Photo of current switch.

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On 10/14/2021 at 7:17 AM, tmw188 said:

Ken what do you think was suspect for this whole scenario that played out. Did it start with the male plug getting hot and work its way back to the Transfer Switch just wondering? I plan on doing the change out but just curious about all those extra plugs. With your install were  you happy with the crimpers ability to do the job? Also I’m trying to find the ferrules with the collars on them can’t find any larger than 7ga. 

I was not able to find ferrules either with collars. The straight ones worked fine. I don't know what is causing the failure of the IOTA but it is well documented and had a significant recall years ago. I am more suspect that the terminal connections loosed to easily and caused the connections to short out. I would not use the crimpers again. Very hard to manipulate. For another $20 you can get and I have gotten a semi-hydraulic type. https://www.amazon.com/Hydraulic-Battery-Terminal-Crimping-connectors/dp/B07ZFLVZ75/ref=sr_1_7?dchild=1&keywords=hydraulic%2Bcrimper&qid=1634479393&sr=8-7&th=1

Much easier to use. 

As far as extra plugs and all that was just me thinking outside of the box. I never liked having the surge suppressor and Autoformer chained to the shore power pole. Because they were paid for and working I modified my compartment so that they could be kept secure from theft and weather. If I did not own the devices I would have purchased inline models and used them from the beginning. 

I guess  the big takeaway is to lose the IOTA. 

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any questions that I might be able to help with.

Ken

 

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Because of all the issues with the IOTA, doI assume correctly that there was a year that the IOTAs were no longer installed in our rigs? What year was that - and - what did they transition to from the IOTA?

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I completed my install of the Surge Guard 41260 TS yesterday. I used the ferrules and crimping tool that was mentioned from Grampy OG and was very pleased with the all wire connections because of using this method. The tool could of been another two inches longer for for more leverage however. Hard area to work in on my 02 Windsor. Removed the tray slide to gain much better access, that’s a must. Installed a receptacle on the shore power inlet to plug my Hughes AF into. I have that worry off my plate now. My old IOTA looked absolutely fine but I will say this, it has been only a couple of months since I inspected it and checked all the wires connections and they didn’t seem as tight as I left them. I need to secure my AF and tidy up some cabling. 

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Edited by tmw188
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I can't believe that a 2002 Windsor and a 2003 Exec would have had IOTA Transfer Switches installed. My 2002 Windsor and JimJ's 2002 Windsor plus anther member who has sold his 2002 Windsor all had the ESCO Lyght Transfer Switch.

Just shows to go you that Monaco didn't care where they installed what and when.

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This photo from above is obviously to most that it is the 50a receptacle. I only posted that to show that the square ferrules work great even in that. The male plug was a different story, by its design I decided not to use them but just used the bare stranded wire. I plan on putting a strap around the plugs to keep them in place and will check them periodically. 

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Have been following this thread for a while and time to butt in!  The IOTA was installed in my 2010 Neptune and changed out by Navistar as a result of the recall at the Chapter 419 MS with the Southwire unit.  The Southwire unit "went south" in 2018 and I replaced it with a Progressive Dynamics 5200 Series PD52.  It does not hum and has worked without issue for the past 3 years...I do an annual check of the lugs.  The PD unit is a smaller than the Southwire and does not have the "whistles and bells" but didn't need them since I also have the Progressive Industries "hard wired" surge unit.  So another transfer switch option...and would be interested to read any comments regarding the PD unit.  They are a local company (Marshall, MI) and have a long history of supplying the RV industry with well engineered electronics.

Adam

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1 hour ago, Dr4Film said:

I can't believe that a 2002 Windsor and a 2003 Exec would have had IOTA Transfer Switches installed. My 2002 Windsor and JimJ's 2002 Windsor plus anther member who has sold his 2002 Windsor all had the ESCO Lyght Transfer Switch.

Just shows to go you that Monaco didn't care where they installed what and when.

The parts page shows that they made a change in 9/30/2001 (although I believe they have the numbers wrong). 

It's obvious that Monaco was not consistent in how they build the coaches.  A lot of the parts pages I have show different parts with the date they transitioned.  Might have been a supply chain issue or price issue.  Who knows.

1 Power Transfer Switch.pdf

Edited by jacwjames
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Don't forget Monaco went into bankruptcy and Navistar assembled coaches beginning in 2008/2009 from the left over inventory.  There are some interesting stories about coaches being delivered with 3 AC units vs 2 in the sales specs, etc.  Usually the changes were positive.  My coach was assembled in June 2009 and had rear brake chambers with 2005 date codes so you never know what may be in that build generation.

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We toured the factory in Aug 2009, they only had a small crew working on coaches.  Still an interesting tour and there was a salesman there pushing to sell coaches to anyone interested.  They let us walk through some coaches right after they got off the line and as they were cleaning them up and fixing defects (and there were plenty)!

 

That was the first time I saw a slide in slide, can't remember which model coach it was but it was a four slides and the front drivers side slide had a slide in a slide. 

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4 hours ago, Dr4Film said:

I can't believe that a 2002 Windsor and a 2003 Exec would have had IOTA Transfer Switches installed. My 2002 Windsor and JimJ's 2002 Windsor plus anther member who has sold his 2002 Windsor all had the ESCO Lyght Transfer Switch.

Just shows to go you that Monaco didn't care where they installed what and when.

Richard, mine had an IOTA from factory.  Switched it out about a year ago.  Couldn't see anything wrong with the IOTA but switched it out to the ESCO Lyght TS along with adding a Progressive Industries HW50C.

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1 hour ago, jacwjames said:

We toured the factory in Aug 2009, they only had a small crew working on coaches.  Still an interesting tour and there was a salesman there pushing to sell coaches to anyone interested.  They let us walk through some coaches right after they got off the line and as they were cleaning them up and fixing defects (and there were plenty)!

 

That was the first time I saw a slide in slide, can't remember which model coach it was but it was a four slides and the front drivers side slide had a slide in a slide. 

Jim, I think that was the 2011 Monaco Dynasty Majestic V coach that had a slide within a slide, 5 slides total.

https://www.monacocoach.com/resources/media/user/1476904684_brc_pdf.pdf

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8 hours ago, Dr4Film said:

I can't believe that a 2002 Windsor and a 2003 Exec would have had IOTA Transfer Switches installed. My 2002 Windsor and JimJ's 2002 Windsor plus anther member who has sold his 2002 Windsor all had the ESCO Lyght Transfer Switch.

Just shows to go you that Monaco didn't care where they installed what and when.

Yeah and I thought these Monaco's were good reputable units, what’s with that build quality control. I guess they still are overall?  

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18 hours ago, lake49068 said:

Have been following this thread for a while and time to butt in!  The IOTA was installed in my 2010 Neptune and changed out by Navistar as a result of the recall at the Chapter 419 MS with the Southwire unit.  The Southwire unit "went south" in 2018 and I replaced it with a Progressive Dynamics 5200 Series PD52.  It does not hum and has worked without issue for the past 3 years...I do an annual check of the lugs.  The PD unit is a smaller than the Southwire and does not have the "whistles and bells" but didn't need them since I also have the Progressive Industries "hard wired" surge unit.  So another transfer switch option...and would be interested to read any comments regarding the PD unit.  They are a local company (Marshall, MI) and have a long history of supplying the RV industry with well engineered electronics.

Adam

Adam, I have not heard of any complaints with the Progressive Dynamics Transfer Switch. Overall I think it's a pretty darn good transfer switch. Not surprised about the Southwire Transfer Switch failure. Plus there have been numerous complaints about the loud humming it creates.

I think you made the right choice. A transfer switch does not need "bells & whistles". It only needs to have a time delay circuit board to ensure the generator voltage is at a stable level before transfer occurs. Plus it automatically senses generator power and prevents two power sources from entering the AC Distribution Panel at the same time.

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