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Old 11-16-2021, 09:22 AM   #1
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Maxxfan known problem?

I have a Maxxfan and a solar panel with my 2020 19. I have never had a problem with the fan. I read about water proofing the circuit board which I am about to do. But I also read about adding a voltage regulator. I do see my voltage going up to over 14 volts on sunny days, but this has not caused any problems yet. So is it a know fact that the circuit board cannot handle the voltage that the solar panel can pump out? Does Maxxfan know of this issue? Has Maxxfan updated their circuit board?
I believe in not fixing what is not broken... but I also believe in preventative maintenance.
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Old 11-16-2021, 10:27 AM   #2
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I hope I can attach this link, it's for this very same issue, back in 2018, from the Ford Transit Forum. Towards the bottom of the page, there's a voltage regulator that was tried and apparently worked to help fix this issue. Good luck.
https://www.fordtransitusaforum.com/...oo-high.69690/
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Old 11-16-2021, 10:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Videocrafters View Post
I have a Maxxfan and a solar panel with my 2020 19. I have never had a problem with the fan. I read about water proofing the circuit board which I am about to do. But I also read about adding a voltage regulator. I do see my voltage going up to over 14 volts on sunny days, but this has not caused any problems yet. So is it a know fact that the circuit board cannot handle the voltage that the solar panel can pump out? Does Maxxfan know of this issue? Has Maxxfan updated their circuit board?
I believe in not fixing what is not broken... but I also believe in preventative maintenance.
I just finished installing a new circuit board in our 2019 5.0 Maxx Fan. I first painted conformal coating to the new board. So far it works.

When I explained to Maxxair that our board had failed they admitted that they're having failures, especially with owners who have solar and use 14.4-14.8 or higher charge rates. They implied that the Maxxfan worked great before users started adding solar to their systems. With our SiO2 batteries and Victron 100/30 SCC we're charging at 14.6 bulk/absorption. They claimed our new circuit board will handle the higher voltage. We'll see how long it lasts over time.

The board was easy to install. There are plenty of YouTube videos to watch. Being I removed the fan blade, the blade and entire cover got a good cleaning, so it looks like new.

First, take your fan apart to see if you have humidity problems by looking for rust on the control pad portion of the fan. Again, look at YouTube videos. We don't live in high humidity so we didn't have to order/install the control pad.

It did take two months to get the board, since the board probably comes from overseas. If you're still within warranty I would ask for another board and keep it in the camper in case your existing board fails. Also, if you live in a high humidity area I would paint conformal coating on your board

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 11-16-2021, 10:52 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I think I will find my serial number and check with Maxxfan to see if I have a new circuit board that can handle the increased voltage.

Also... nice bike. I also ride a recumbent, but 2 wheel variety.
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Old 11-16-2021, 11:26 AM   #5
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Also... nice bike. I also ride a recumbent, but 2 wheel variety.
I've owned many two wheel bents. Some day you'll be old enough to ride a trike too.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 11-16-2021, 12:00 PM   #6
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I don't see how the Maxx Fan could be getting 14 volts from the solar panel unless you are bypassing the batteries and running directly off the panel which isn't a good idea. Connecting the panel to the batteries should be regulation enough unless there are other issues happening.

Doug
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Old 11-16-2021, 04:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
I

First, take your fan apart to see if you have humidity problems by looking for rust on the control pad portion of the fan. Again, look at YouTube videos. We don't live in high humidity so we didn't have to order/install the control pad.


Perry
I have a pretty brilliant in-house electrical engineer who reverse engineered the board in my E21. He was pretty confident that the source of my issue wasn't over voltage.

I did receive a replacement board but I also used a hot air gun and baked my original board bone dry and the problem stopped.

So coating with Conformal is a good idea. When you think about it putting the circuit board in that exposed location, right in the path of all the exiting high trailer humidity is sort of asking for trouble.

Ron
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Old 11-16-2021, 04:29 PM   #8
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I don't see how the Maxx Fan could be getting 14 volts ..... Connecting the panel to the batteries should be regulation enough unless there are other issues happening.
Unless you have an atypical lithium battery system, whenever the battery voltage is 14 or greater or any of the charging devices are delivering 14 volts or greater to the battery, that's the voltage everything on your DC distribution system will 'see' (absent hopefully very minimal wiring voltage-drop).

That's not an uncommon circumstance and methinks what was meant in the OP. One could preclude that by limiting battery charge voltage, which some may choose to do by programming lower voltage cut-offs on their charging devices, but that then negates to some extent the full capabilities of the lithium storage (there's pros and cons).

FLA / AGM systems differing in that they typically have peak voltages on the order of 13.8 (except when in a de-sulfating mode). Some DC devices, particularly those with electronic 'controller circuits', seem to be adversely affected by that difference.
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Old 11-16-2021, 07:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by NuthatchBC View Post
I don't see how the Maxx Fan could be getting 14 volts from the solar panel unless you are bypassing the batteries and running directly off the panel which isn't a good idea. Connecting the panel to the batteries should be regulation enough unless there are other issues happening.
The batteries don't regulate the voltage. According to the GoPower manual for our 2018 5.0, the controller for Flooded and AGM batteries have a 14.4 v bulk/absorption stage where the Maxx Fan will see 14.4 v, and will see 13.7 in float.

Only at night, or if the WFCO is turned off or not at a power pedestal, will the batteries see lower than 13.7.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 11-16-2021, 07:59 PM   #10
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Do you need another problem?

The lift mechanism on my fan cover went KAPUT, with no known incident to cause this. Crappy, poorly executed die cast mechanism parts, seen after failure analysis. A rain of die cast bits of zinc when I opened it...while camping. Researching this issue, many others have also experienced the same. To order an exact replacement part.....good luck.....I got July of 2022 for delivery.
BUT....there is a hack. Use the longer drive gear from your broken existing mechanism and put it into the mechanism of an an "auto" open one, easily available, last month, for me......Looks like it will work. Winter here, I haven't completed the project, but others have had success with this hack. Search this and other forums for the details....I don't have them handy right now.

FYI. Any replacement of this mechanism is a PITA. I've been working from the inside, the exterior tack maybe be "duck soup" and easier done. I don't know.

I've long since conformal coated my board. Do so.
These people who design our products, apparently, never use them or think of the issues that could, would, will come up. I throw up my hands! Ejicts! Wankers!
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Old 11-17-2021, 12:47 PM   #11
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FYI, just went through replacing my gear drive that exploded and then when I turned it on the circuit board fried too. when I started researching replacing the circuit board and probably the lift motor it was a better option to replace the whole thing and keep the old one for parts. Best price I could find was to order it from Scamp. they had it in stock and shipped fast too,
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Old 11-17-2021, 08:46 PM   #12
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Sounds like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RBRV View Post
FYI, just went through replacing my gear drive that exploded and then when I turned it on the circuit board fried too. when I started researching replacing the circuit board and probably the lift motor it was a better option to replace the whole thing and keep the old one for parts. Best price I could find was to order it from Scamp. they had it in stock and shipped fast too,
Did you have the motorized lift version of the fan? Mine was manual.
I'm just curious.
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Old 11-18-2021, 06:22 AM   #13
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Yes, deluxe with remote. I was originally going to replace it with a manual one based on cost alone before I found the deluxe model on the Scamp website. I also sprayed my circuit board with a silicone conformal coating and dabbed some caulk around a wire that lead into the circuit board area to seal it off from any potential drip.
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Old 11-18-2021, 10:21 AM   #14
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I have a pretty brilliant in-house electrical engineer who reverse engineered the board in my E21. He was pretty confident that the source of my issue wasn't over voltage.

Ron
For the lastest version of the Maxxfan control board, your engineer is correct. Maxxfan upgraded several components on the board to be able to handle higher voltages.

For the earlier versions, not really correct. I found several components that were not rated for the trailer operating voltages. I didn't go throught the whole board so there may have been more - one component found was enough to cause it to fail.

If someone owns an earlier version of the Maxxfan control board, it would be a good idea to replace it with the latest rev. or install a voltage regulator.

I did both just to make sure.

Oh, and the conformal coating plus sealing the wire entry hole from the motor to the control board should be mandatory.
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Old 11-18-2021, 11:21 AM   #15
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My circuit boards were indeed quite a bit different from the original 2017 build to the one I replaced a month ago. Same model Maxxfan.
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Old 11-18-2021, 11:46 AM   #16
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My circuit boards were indeed quite a bit different from the original 2017 build to the one I replaced a month ago. Same model Maxxfan.
The board in our October 2018 is also quite different from the one I just received and installed in our camper.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 11-24-2021, 04:18 PM   #17
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I don't see how the Maxx Fan could be getting 14 volts from the solar panel unless you are bypassing the batteries and running directly off the panel which isn't a good idea. Connecting the panel to the batteries should be regulation enough unless there are other issues happening.
Even a really small 5W solar panel can destroy a car battery if left on with no load for an extended period of time (personal experience). Solar panels are not self-regulating - even the ones that are labelled such aren't. NEVER use solar panels without a regulator. Eventually the batteries will become fully charged and the voltage will rise too high. Note that the open circuit voltage of a typical "12V" solar panel is in the 21V-22V range.

What did in a friend's MaxxFan is that he thought it would be OK to use the "boost" feature on his solar regulator. This allowed the voltage to exceed 15V and wreck the fan. He is lucky that it didn't destroy anything else. Please do not be tempted to use that feature - it is a really bad idea and will damage many types of batteries as well as devices.
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Old 11-25-2021, 02:27 AM   #18
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Conformal Coating IS Necessary

My fan failed after about 5 years; not due to over-voltage, but corrosion on the board.

I know the battery, and therefore connected equipment, can reach up to 14.8V during equalizing from the solar controller. Don't know if the fan's ever seen this. I can however be reasonably confident that it would see the boost voltage of 14.6 on occasion, and no apparent problems as a result.

In any case, I replaced the original board with a motor speed control off Amazon for about $14. It needs to be a higher frequency controller to avoid audio noise problems, but it works better than the original. Better because it uses a rotary control for speed, and single switch for out/off/in. I find these much more convenient.

I ended up buying a second MaxxFan for what was a passive vent (future AC location), and we'll see if that board lasts any longer... I've got an extra controller anyway, so no worries.
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Old 11-25-2021, 02:10 PM   #19
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My MaxxFan circuit board went south on me last year. I feel lucky to have gotten three years out of it. Got a new circuit board this summer. After I installed it the fan worked once. Since then it's been hit and miss where if I keep the fan on a very low speed it's ok. If I forget to slow the fan down on start up or speed it up it starts beeping and won't start again..no matter what I do. At this point I'm seriously considering pulling the MaxxFan out, shooting it and installing a Fantastic Fan. I can do without the MaxxFan rain hood and I'd rather have a fan that works.
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Old 11-25-2021, 02:21 PM   #20
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The source of all evil when it comes to Maxxfan and refrigerators, etc. seems too be LEDs and automation. My Maxxfan has none of that. It just works, manually, but it works. Same with fridge.
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