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Old 12-25-2017, 10:28 PM   #1
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Progressive Dynamics 14.8v Charging Rate

Does anyone have experience with the Progressive Dynamics 14.8v converter sold by BestConverter.com? I haven’t been able to contact Randy to find out if the bump from the standard bulk/absorption rate of 14.4v to 14.8v is a Progressive Dynamics OEM option, or an after-market modification performed by Randy.

This has implications for the converter warranty.

I assume the standard Interstate batteries provided by Escape would appreciate the 14.8v charging rate, correct?
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Old 12-25-2017, 11:28 PM   #2
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It's based on a model variant, and not a modification made by Randy as far as I know. The PD9260C model for example (the one that's probably most suitable for an Escape) is offered in 14.4 and 14.8 volts. You'll get the full warranty with either one. And yes, since Interstate suggests a higher boost mode voltage than the normal 14.4V, the 14.8V during boost means you get alot closer to a full charge before the step down to 13.6V that completes the charge.

It's not ideal though that the PD4655V upgrade kit doesn't offer a boost charging voltage of 14.8V, since that kit is specifically designed to be a direct swap out for the charger/board in the stock WFCO. Retrofitting the 9200 series charger means a little trickier install since it's not a direct swap out into the same enclosure like the 4655.

Either one however is a true 4 stage charger with the charge wizard and the ability to change modes. This is a big step up from the WFCO which won't desulfate at all, and whose DC filter is inferior - as anyone who's had the 'multiple flickering lights' issue can attest.
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Old 12-26-2017, 12:59 AM   #3
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Very interesting, rbryan4. Thanks for the response. That’s good to know. Nothing on the PD website mentions the 14.8v option (as far as I can find), but it makes sense that Randy isn’t making the modification himself. That would presumably void the warranty. Perhaps 14.8v is an option provided only to BestConverter, as I haven’t seen it offered anywhere else.

And thanks also for the info regarding the flickering lights! I’ve been plagued with that problem, and even after speaking with Reace the flickering continued intermittently.
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:51 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jeff and Karen View Post
Nothing on the PD website mentions the 14.8v option (as far as I can find), but it makes sense that Randy isn’t making the modification himself. That would presumably void the warranty. Perhaps 14.8v is an option provided only to BestConverter, as I haven’t seen it offered anywhere else.
When I switched mine out, Randy told me that PD manufactures them to his specs so that is why you do not see them on PD’s site or other websites. The 14.8v also works well with my Lifeline AGM batteries. Randy told me I would be much happier with It than the WFCO and he was correct......I am.
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:24 PM   #5
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I wanted to follow up after speaking with Randy at BestConverter.com. It was an interesting conversation to be sure, but here’s the bottom line.

Randy does NOT recommend the 14.8v model. Not at all. He said he only carries it to placate customers who insist on the higher voltage model against his advice. Ha! Instead, he says the BY FAR best option for Escape owners is the Progressive Dynamics Model PD4655VL.

Alrighty! What do I know? Randy’s the expert. He says this converter will charge my Interstate batteries every bit as fast as the 14.8v converter. It seems counterintuitive and it’s all magic to me, but I’ll buy what he recommends.
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jeff and Karen View Post
I wanted to follow up after speaking with Randy at BestConverter.com. It was an interesting conversation to be sure, but here’s the bottom line.

Randy does NOT recommend the 14.8v model. Not at all. He said he only carries it to placate customers who insist on the higher voltage model against his advice. Ha! Instead, he says the BY FAR best option for Escape owners is the Progressive Dynamics Model PD4655VL.

Alrighty! What do I know? Randy’s the expert. He says this converter will charge my Interstate batteries every bit as fast as the 14.8v converter. It seems counterintuitive and it’s all magic to me, but I’ll buy what he recommends.
He said the same to me some time back. While Interstate does recommend a significantly higher boost voltage, Randy does have many years of actual experience on his side, so who knows. The great thing about the PD4655 kit, as I mentioned earlier, is that it's a direct fit in the WFCO enclosure. Basically routing and terminating 5 wires or so and you're done.
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Old 12-27-2017, 08:49 AM   #7
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An earlier thread said the PD4655MBA and now I'm seeing PD4655V(L). Can someone please clarify the difference? I see on BestConverter.com the PD4655MBA "WildKat" for $193 and a PD4655V for $197.50. The photos are a bit different, but there is no description for the PD4655V. Thanks!

http://www.bestconverter.com/PD4655M...l#.WkO04HlG1aQ

http://www.bestconverter.com/PD4655V...l#.WkO1BnlG1aQ
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Old 12-27-2017, 08:52 AM   #8
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This is from the Handy Bob website on battery charging.

Get the battery manufacturer’s charging specifications and pay strict attention to them. The charger manufacturers are nearly all not setting their equipment up for the voltage that the battery manufacturers specify. The difference between 14.4 & 14.8 volts is not 3%. That difference is nearly 20% of the charging range (12.2 to 14.8 volts). That 20% makes a huge difference in how full the battery gets before the charger shuts off. You can eventually get the batteries full by charging at 14.4 volts, but it takes hours, not minutes.

I think most of the companies selling chargers feel more comfortable going with a lower charge voltage because it does not require as much battery maintenance. (checking the water level) While the may result in less battery capacity the company is not going to be blamed for frying the batteries.

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Old 12-27-2017, 09:15 AM   #9
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Oops. I stated the 14.8v works well with my Lifeline AGMs, and I meant to say the PD4655V upgrade works well with them. But the point I wanted to make was that PD does build the 14.8v unit for Randy.
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Old 12-27-2017, 10:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
An earlier thread said the PD4655MBA and now I'm seeing PD4655V(L). Can someone please clarify the difference? I see on BestConverter.com the PD4655MBA "WildKat" for $193 and a PD4655V for $197.50. The photos are a bit different, but there is no description for the PD4655V. Thanks!

http://www.bestconverter.com/PD4655M...l#.WkO04HlG1aQ

http://www.bestconverter.com/PD4655V...l#.WkO1BnlG1aQ
Yeah, it's hard to tell the difference Dave. The info is scattered around and doesn't do a very good job of pointing out the differences in models. Basically the 4655V includes the metal box enclosure and the little bus board, to replace the one in the WFCO. The "MBA" in 4655MBA means "main board assembly". So, it doesn't include the metal box and the little board, just the converter main board. The "L" in the VL model means it has a jumper to allow you to charge lithium ion batteries. Strictly speaking, all you'd need is the main board assembly but if Randy is recommending the one with the metal enclosure, maybe go with that? You could ask Randy for more details.
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