Fixing the Thomson transfer switch

Poor thing got stuck in generator position and couldn’t go back on line… the problem only became apparent watching the mechanism cycle.
ignore the fact that I say “short of the limit switch”, it should have been “final position”. whatever. brain cheeze.

The limit switch was getting pressed early, causing the robot arm to stop moving with the breaker juuuust on the edge before actually closing. The reason for this was that the locknut got loose on that screw that activates it and the screw backed out a bit.

I readjusted it and tightened the nut. I then used some of the same nail polish I’m wearing in the video on the threads to keep it from backing out again.

Then I sang to it.

Rock over London, rock on, Princeton. Exxon: Put the tiger in your tank!

MC4 disconnect tool / wrench


Trust me, if you work on solar energy systems, you need at least one of these. If you affix mc4 connectors in the field, you need two. The side prongs will effortlessly squeeze the locking tabs on a connector without damage (though you appear to need a different tool for the evil Amphenol ones), and the odd shaped hole will stop the connector from turning as you use the spanner end to tighten the weatherproof packing at the bottom. Yay.

Xantrex sounds like it should be the name of a drug anyway

Xantrex Technologies, now Schneider Electric Renewable Energy, has some of the worst customer service policies and procedures in place that I’ve ever had the misfortune to experience. One new development from them is complete and immediate discontinuation of warranty support and service for any product that has been discontinued. Say you just bought a whole wall full of XW6048’s at around $3K each … Well, too bad, if they go out of production tomorrow, they’re totally orphaned and you’re stuck with them, working or not — and I have been seeing major quality fade on their products as of late!!

Their new charge controllers, the XW MPPT 80 600, just look like a hot mess. A demo unit that arrived at work came to us with internal cables unplugged; I can’t be sure if they just didn’t connect them at the factory or if they came loose in shipping. When the sun comes up over your pv array and puts up to 600 volts onto the controller, do you REALLY want to find out there are loose parts rattling around in there? Reeeeally? (DC arcs get really mad.)

OutBack Power has some new 8000 grid interactive watt inverters with split phase output out now. Let us all rid ourselves of the stupid Xantrex XW system. Pleeeeease.

Also, just fyi, 54vdc kinda stings like a mother*?+!er. It feels like a fire ant sting.

pic related.

pic related.