AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby bobhenry » Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:59 am

5000 btu was far more than what I felt was necessary to cool my 5x10 campers so I forewent the return air. I placed the unit under the shade of the trailer and simply took from the cold air delivery. By not cooling the already cool air and drawing in the ambient outside air I have NEVER experienced a freeze up. If you are experiencing this problem perhaps a method of blending in outside air with the return interior stream will help to alleviate the problem.

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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby Shadow Catcher » Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:57 am

Yes pretty much what we have as well.
7973179676

Bob others have done that in one form or another and you do not really dehumidify, the reason I did not go that direction. One comment I have over heard from a couple of folks that did cold air only was that they were getting cold wet air, it was in each case however a smaller volume than yours so ran less time.
I took a humidistat to CRA a few years back and the outside air was about 90% and inside the tear got down to a comfortable 35%. One potential would be to use longer hoses to allow the air to warm more. Ours works about they way it should.
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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby m.colley » Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:06 pm

Shadow Catcher wrote:Yes pretty much what we have as well.
7973179676

Bob others have done that in one form or another and you do not really dehumidify, the reason I did not go that direction. One comment I have over heard from a couple of folks that did cold air only was that they were getting cold wet air, it was in each case however a smaller volume than yours so ran less time.
I took a humidistat to CRA a few years back and the outside air was about 90% and inside the tear got down to a comfortable 35%. One potential would be to use longer hoses to allow the air to warm more. Ours works about they way it should.



Shadow, smart move IMHO, especially once the humidity starts getting high. Tests have shown that if you can keep the humidity in the 50-55% range or less you can raise the the tstat three degrees or more and your body won't know the difference. It makes a huge difference in the south. As you stated a simple humidistat/psychrometer will tell you the humidity percentage in the space. If its high you can often slow down the blower speed in an effort to run a colder evaporator coil which will in turn remove more moisture. Coil freeze up is the point where you've slowed the air down to much.
Excess humidity and short cycling is one of signs of a unit being oversized for the space its in. The unit satisfies its sensible capacity before achieving its latent capacity (exactly the reverse of what its suppose to do) and the unit shuts down because its reached its temp setting. This is one of my concerns with people that are using the roof top AC's, the unit is probably oversized, especially on trailers our size..


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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby capnTelescope » Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:08 pm

Shadow Catcher wrote:expanded metal

I like it. It's good looking and plenty strong. :thumbsup:

lrrowe wrote:Your mock up is pretty much what I did.
I am trying to get to my storage bldg today.

I appreciate the extra effort, Bob. If you haven't done it yet, you're excused from going to the storage place. I can see I'm on the right track.

bobhenry wrote:I forewent the return air.

and
m.colley wrote:It makes a huge difference in the south.

Which is where I'm at. I think that if I have performance problems, allowing a little bit of outside air in might help. :thinking: Something like the air regulators on a Weber grill:
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Thanks, all.
:beer:
I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

Brad
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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby lrrowe » Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:25 pm

I am waiting for a lumber yard to call and say my order is ready. And then I will stop by the storage facility anyway. I need to get it by the CT anyway for my April trip. One interesting thing you will see with the corrugated board is it getting wet and weak after awhile. So your mock up will not last long. But long enough to get the feedback you want. I do recall my dryer duct tubing used in the protype getting very cold with condensation on it. But no freeze up. I also added 1/2 in insulation board to the inside of my box.
Bob

First Post on Purchase of Trailer: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=60722
Hot water infloor and radiator heating project:[url]http://www.tnttt.com/posting.php?mode=reply&f=54&t=62327[/

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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby m.colley » Thu Mar 17, 2016 3:43 pm

[quote="lrrowe" One interesting thing you will see with the corrugated board is it getting wet and weak after awhile. So your mock up will not last long. But long enough to get the feedback you want. I also added 1/2 in insulation board to the inside of my box.[/quote]

The sheet metal plenum box your wanting to make can be easily constructed, even for the average DIY guy with the correct sized piece of sheet metal, a pair of tin snips, a rivet gun and a couple of pieces of 2x4's, and some foam sheet insulation. Heck you can use screws instead of the rivet gun if you really want. Use the 2x4's and a soft blow type hammer to act as a metal brake for bending your corners/edges, build a flat cap for the front where your duct work attaches and your good to go..


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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby capnTelescope » Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:29 pm

lrrowe wrote:... you will see with the corrugated board is it getting wet and weak after awhile.

Yes, I noticed the cardboard was quite cold after running a while. This will end up being insulated ply for the real thing.

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I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby lrrowe » Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:58 pm

My lumber yard stuff is not in yet and I therefore did not get to the storage bldg today.
Bob

First Post on Purchase of Trailer: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=60722
Hot water infloor and radiator heating project:[url]http://www.tnttt.com/posting.php?mode=reply&f=54&t=62327[/

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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby capnTelescope » Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:31 pm

You're forgiven, Bob. :D
I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.

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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby Fishingtomatoseed » Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:56 am

I am posting this along here with the A/C Hack just to give another idea for controls. What do ya'll think?

https://youtu.be/2e4WS5kX3FM
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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby steve cowan » Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:57 am

Fishingtomatoseed wrote:I am posting this along here with the A/C Hack just to give another idea for controls. What do ya'll think?

https://youtu.be/2e4WS5kX3FM


Modified.

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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby lrrowe » Sat Jun 11, 2016 3:57 pm

capnTelescope wrote:You're forgiven, Bob. :D


Only a few months late Brad.
Here is my unit and compared to many others, it is very crude.
I installed it yesterday and with this 95 degree day here, I cannot get the Inside temp below 74.
I think I need to follow Shadow Catcher's blower idea to help move the cool air faster.
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Bob

First Post on Purchase of Trailer: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=60722
Hot water infloor and radiator heating project:[url]http://www.tnttt.com/posting.php?mode=reply&f=54&t=62327[/

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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby lrrowe » Sat Jun 11, 2016 4:17 pm

Shadow Catcher wrote:I just completed the adaptation of a 5,000 BTU Frigidaire to work with Compass Rose. This was actually a very inexpensive process as I used a close out Frigidaire 5000 BTU that I picked up end of season at Lowes for $50. I had an adapter made to handle a 4 inch ducts by one of the local heating and air conditioning contractors. I had originally thought of using a rather fancy digital thermostat but found that making it play well with the air conditioner was not going well, plus every time it was unplugged I would lose all the settings. What I ended up doing was pulling the thermostat out of the AC unit and mounting it and on off switch in a RadioShack project box. Wiring is very simple because with a thermostat all I'm doing is looking into the existing wires that control the AC unit, and the power switch basically interrupts the off, cool, fan speed switch. I figured that the unit would be on high cool all the time, or off as I am pushing air through 4 inch flex duct. Control wires are connected using Anderson power poles and run through the air intake duct. The ducts run through four-inch Marine deck plates in the side of the trailer.

I ended up having a serious problem with the initial set up and that was icing and the discussion of that is much later in the responses on page 3. The solution however was quite simple, I added in a 4" marine bilge blower rated a 240 CFM and this has taken care of the problem. The pictures are at what is currently the bottom of this first posting. I do need to refine how this goes together and I will edit the final solution. my feeling is that I can reduce the speed of the blower and the noise produced and now that I know that it works shorten hose and route wires neatly and efficiently.

This is the electrical guts, VERY simple, Note the absence of the thermostat.
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Here are the housing and adapter prepped for paint.
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This is the inside of the adapter. Note the felt strip to seal the opening to the AC
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The duct is the same one I used for the diesel heater good up to 450 degrees and you can see the plastic reducer wrapped up with closed cell neoprene to achieve a watertight fit.
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Here is the finished adapted unit plugged into a GFI outlet. Note that the AC unit can sit entirely underneath the trailer.
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On the anterior I used standard RV type duct outlets that have a wide enough spacing to allow me to run the control cables through. And yes I need to box in the outlet.
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This the version II of the computer case fans. There is enough room between the fans and the event that they can be left on and help circulate the air within the trailer so that you don't get stratification with the cold air sinking to the bottom.
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Here is the AC control on off and temperature, where it will end up is still open to debate and it will probably be attached using Velcro.
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Deck plates
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AC unit with handle
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Bilge Blower
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Blower in line.
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Crossroads of America Gathering was the real life test of the system with temperatures in the upper 80's high humidity and no breeze. Saturday night it did not cool off much and we left it running all night. Come morning it was covered with condensation and you can see that.
The bilge blower is three speed, full, and with the use of resistors in the negative line, medium and slow. I found that the slow was sufficient to overcome the restrictions in the air movement enough to prevent freezing. My next step will be trying a PMW to regulate speed. The resistors get HOT and while I sandwiched them between a couple of pieces of aluminum to help dissipate that I hate wasting that much energy.

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The latest is that I wanted to see how it withstood weather so left it attached and running and exposed during a thunderstorm with no ill effects. The PMW works great for regulating the blower speed, until you cross wire it, I will be getting another one this week.


Shadow Catcher,
I hooked my system up yesterday and it is not cooling as fast and as deeply as it did for me last year with my mock up setup.
Now I come through the bottom thru about 2-3 ft of pipe, then up about 4 ft to my vent. I am wondering if I am trying to have the small AC unit push the cold air too far to maintain an adequate air flow. I am wondering if I need a bilge blower like yours, but to push the cooled air not pull the return/warm air?
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What do you think?
Bob

First Post on Purchase of Trailer: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=60722
Hot water infloor and radiator heating project:[url]http://www.tnttt.com/posting.php?mode=reply&f=54&t=62327[/

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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby m.colley » Sat Jun 11, 2016 7:49 pm

Hey Bob, I'm not SC of course but I'd be willing to bet the added duct is your problem. The airflow/cfm of the window units aren't the greatest in the world in the first place, by adding the extra 4 ft of pipe and the vertical rise you've created a problem, the blower in that window unit just isn't designed for that. A booster fan will give you more air but will also change the temp of the air that comes out, ie: warm it up. A speed controller on a higher cfm computer type fan or just a lower cfm fan is your best bet. Use a thermometer and see how drastic the temp changes the more air( faster) you run the fan and adjust accordingly.


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Re: AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Postby lrrowe » Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:03 pm

Actually I was going to try a fan I have that is similar to this.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/3812765302 ... noapp=true

I was going to simply place it in front of my incoming vent to see if there was any improvement. Worst case is that I have to shorten the incoming tube. I will be honest and say I never considered the length/distance issue when I laid out the design.
Bob

First Post on Purchase of Trailer: http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=60722
Hot water infloor and radiator heating project:[url]http://www.tnttt.com/posting.php?mode=reply&f=54&t=62327[/

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