Dinosaur Replacement Norcold Boards

February 7, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Service Issues, What's New 

As I have said in the past I’m a huge fan of Dinosaur brand replacement circuit boards. The only problem I have had was with the new Norcold “N” series- they have very complex circuit boards, along with many different models, so I doubted that Dinosaur would ever come out with an N series replacement board.

Thankfully, I was wrong.

Dinosaur N series board

Dinosaur N series board

This new board replaces the following Norcold part numbers:
621267,   621667.001,   621268,   621268.001,    621269,   621269.001,
621270,   621270.001,   621271,   621271.001,   619360,   619361,   632168.001

You can read more about it at the Dinosaur website

Obsolescence- finding parts

December 9, 2008 by · 12 Comments
Filed under: Op-Ed, Service Issues 

I wrote a blog post about cleaning the Norcold burner on my RV.net blog. On the refrigerator I was working on at that time (a Norcold 662), I needed to simply replace the burner.
I grabbed a new burner off the shelf, installed it, and everything was good to go.
I then went to re-order that burner, and found out that Norcold now considers anything over 10 years old to be obsolete.
Now- our current travel trailer is a 1977 model- just over 30 years old. It’s still in good shape (though it does suffer a bit from the ‘shoe makers children’ syndrome)- but I can still buy

1977 Airstream

1977 Airstream

factory parts for it, though a door lock is a mind numbing $500+, simply because it is hand machined, but I can still buy one.
On the Norcold burner, there is a new burner that will fit right in. The only difference is the original uses a compression connection, with a ferrule and copper sealing ring, and the new one uses a flare connection. A modification to a flare connection should not be at all hard, and it really wouldn’t be hard for Norcold to come up with a retrofit kit- a more reasonable one than the $200+ kit they have for the 900 series. All the kit would need would be the burner and a new tube (soft aluminum). I just cannot see telling a customer that their perfectly good 1996 refrigerator is not repairable because I cannot get a $30 part, and they have to spend $1200-1500 for a new one. On the other hand- I take a bit of liability on my shoulders by modifying a part like this, so…..

Even though I grew up in a very affluent period (relatively), a large reason was my parents remembering and observing the old adage- “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”

I’ve also been running in to range parts being not available (safety valves and thermostats)- this time due to mercury content. While I understand this a bit more, it still isn’t easy to deal with.

Ah, well….

–Chris

Patterns of Failure

February 14, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Op-Ed, Service Issues 

Sometimes I run in to patterns of failure on different items- bad batches from the manufacturers, faulty designs, etc. The past few weeks I have run in to 2 different items that have been giving me problems.

The first is a fairly simple thing, but one that has potentially very bad consequences.. and that is a vent lid (yep- about the simplest thing there is). Read more