New Xantrax TrueCharge 40? Remote Doesn’t Work? Click Here for Why!

Our Xantrax TrueCharge 40 suddenly decided not to work.  It’s relatively new and luckily Xantrax replaced it under warranty.  So that’s all good.  David swapped out the old for the new and it works, which is even better.   But when he plugged in the cable to connect the remote, all the lights flashed once and immediately went dark, zip, zero nada.   Hmmmm….  the remote was working fine … what’s happening? Did the charger fry the remote when it went down?  Not likely.  So we order a new remote.  It arrives and we plug it in … same thing, all the lights flash simultaneously and then nothing.  How strange.  By now we have all the electronics guru’s in our marina scratching their heads.  There is no reason this thing shouldn’t work.    We dutifully get out the multimeter and check all the contacts, everything’s working fine.

Apparently there is a difference between seeminly identical remotes and it’s a closely held secret with Xantrax!  🙁  You’d think they’d let people know about these things, but NO.   Xantrax upgraded the TrueCharge 2 40 amp charger to a “3” … now capable of handling 3 battery banks.  That’s nice, but there’s nothing in the packaging or anything else that indicates the change.  Therefore, it would seem to the normal consumer (that’s us) that if the remote panel worked before it should work again, right?   Wrong.

New Remote in Packaging vs Old Remote Comparison

New Remote in Packaging vs Old Remote Comparison

With the upgrade, Xantrax changed the remote.  Here’s the old remote side by side with the new remote.  You can tell the difference, right?  West Marine couldn’t.   There is no indication that they are different.   Here’s another photo of the two out of the packaging.

Our original remote on the right, the replacement on the left.

Our original remote on the right, the replacement on the left.

So when we installed the new remote, it didn’t work either… except there was a difference.  You can’t see it in the packaging and Xantrax is not good about letting their consumers know either.  We called Xantrax Tech Support – amazingly, they were pretty good on the tech support side.  I discovered a tiny little tidbit in their FAQ’s … some reference to a Part Number …

An Obscure Notice on the Back of the Remote Package

An Obscure Notice on the Back of the Remote Package

Even West Marine was stocking the incorrect version that they thought went with the new charger … if even West Marine doesn’t know about the difference, how in the WORLD are consumers supposed to know.

Part Number 808-8040-01

Part Number 808-8040-01

 

We looked online to see if we could find a clue about why the new remote didn’t work with our new TrueCharge 2 40 amp charger.  I stumbled across a hint … here’s the quote from the Xantrax website:

NOTE:
This remote panel (part# 808-8040-01) is compatible with the following part numbers:

804-1220-02, 804-1240-02, 804-1260-02, 804-2410, 804-2420 and 804-2430.
Please use remote panel (part# 808-8040-00) for 804-1220, 804-1240 and 804-1260.

This didn’t mean much to us except to raise a red flag.  Maybe the reason it wouldn’t work is that Xantrax has a new version and West Marine keeps sending us the wrong version.  But West Marine didn’t realize that the remote they were stocking didn’t match the charger they had on the shelf.   Aaaaarrrggg!    A call to tech support confirms it — we need Part # 808-8040-01 NOT 808-8040-00.  They are exactly identical when you look at the packaging, until you flip it over and find the obscure notice on the back.

When you take the remote out of the packaging, the difference becomes more apparent — the new version which now can accommodate 3 house battery banks instead of two, has an extra plug-in from the charger to the remote — here’s the difference:

One Plug In for Remote vs. Two Plug ins for New Charger Version, That's Labeled the Same, Go Figure

One Plug In for Remote vs. Two Plug ins for New Charger Version, That's Labeled the Same, Go Figure

Click here for the Xantrax link if you want more information — scroll all the way to the bottom for the NOTE with the compatible versions that I’ve listed above.

All’s well that ends well and we did not have to re-run the cord – our original cord works fine plugged in to the new remote with the correct part number!  So the moral to the story is, if you get a new TrueCharge 2 40 amp charger, make SURE the remote is the correct version — either 00 or 01!     Cheers!  Any questions?  Leave a comment.   🙂   Jan

 

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