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Old 11-03-2019, 10:57 AM   #1
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Chassis Battery Charging on Shore Power

My Chassis batteries are not charging when plugged into shore power. I have read a few of the threads regarding the BIRD and took some measurements at the relay. I have 12.8 on the coach side and 12.3 on the chassis side. I have a question for you all.


My coach batteries are pretty old. If they are not coming up to full charge, would that prevent the BIRD from switching over to charging the chassis batteries?


Thanks!
-B
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Old 11-03-2019, 11:20 AM   #2
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Are you reading voltages while disconnected to 110 volts or connected.
Any one house battery with a defect will defeat a charging problem.
With a battery charger charge your house batteries and see if voltage charge holds or drops to fast can do same on chassis batteries.
The BIRD charging system may be working correctly but a defective battery could be causing your problem.
This sticky has more on the BIRD Charging systems for different years same principle of operation though.
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Old 11-04-2019, 07:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by "007" View Post
Are you reading voltages while disconnected to 110 volts or connected.
Yes, I am connected to the shore power. I would expect to see close to the same voltage if the relay was closed (making contact across the terminals.)

According to one of the documents in the post you referenced above, it says that 12.7 is considered to be 100% charged.

On the house terminal of the relay, I have 12.7 V. On the other I have 12.3. Checking the voltage at the batteries confirms the readings.

-B
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Old 11-04-2019, 08:14 AM   #4
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Your BIRD needs 13.4 volts to connect.

Your charger is not outputting a high enough voltage. It should be holding 13.4 volts on the house batteries. That's float voltage.

If equipped, unplug the BTS ( battery temperature sensor ) from the inverter/charger, and see if the voltage comes up. The BTS is a phone jack looking plug.

If it does, your BTS is probably bad.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:25 PM   #5
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I spent some time this morning with the company that does service calls for Intellitec. The tech had me checking voltages. To be honest, I think he knows less about the system than I do.

After getting off of the phone with the tech, I decided to see if the battery disconnect was working. Before I hit the disconnect button, I had 13.2 volts at the battery. I have 6 volt batteries so I checked across 2 of the batteries that are connected in series. After hitting the disconnect button and unplugging the coach, I checked the voltage and it was at 12.7 volts, a few minutes later, it was 12.3. I did not let it go any further to see if it would drop further.

While speaking with Magnum, the tech asked me to disconnect from shore power (trip the breaker). They we watch the voltage on the monitor. It went from 12.5 to 12.3 and then dropped to 11.8. At that point, we turned the breaker back on and watched the voltage again. The voltage jumped to 12 and then 13 and then to 14.5. I ran outside to check the voltages at the batteries and both the house and chassis batteries were at 14.5. That tells me that the BIRD is working.

I am pretty sure that I have bad batteries. Now I need to figure out if I want to replace my AGM batteries with AGM or Flooded. I also need to figure out if I need 6 or 8 batteries. If 6 batteries would keep the refrigerator and a fan running through the night, I would probably just go with 6.

-B
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:34 AM   #6
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All's it takes is one bad cell in a battery in your bank to drag down the whole bank, I suspect your determination on a bad battery is the problem. AGM's for me are the best bet, although an expensive option, but you do away with the maintenance aspect that accompany lead acid (wet cell) batteries. Hose them off every 6 months, not corrosion in the battery compartment.
To size of your battery bank should be determined by the AMP/HR draw (requirements) of the equipment you desire to run off the battery bank when no outside source of power is available.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:47 AM   #7
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Hi BrokeDown,
Consider load testing the batteries before you spend any money.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:30 AM   #8
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A little off subject, does the chassis batteries still charge when when plugged into shore power and the chassis battery switch off? Sorry for the hijack, Thanks
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:54 AM   #9
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I've been considering the Foxwell BT-705 Battery Analyzer for 12V and 24V batteries.

My batteries are 6 volt so I would test two at a time. I sent an email to the manufacturer asking them if that would work. If they say yes, I will likely get on of these.


-B
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
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A little off subject, does the chassis batteries still charge when when plugged into shore power and the chassis battery switch off? Sorry for the hijack, Thanks
It is supposed to. There are direct connections from both sets of batteries to the BIRD. The BIRD controls which batteries are getting charged.

-B
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:33 AM   #11
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Read link for operation of a BIRD OR BIM Charging system.
There is one for DP's also in this link.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:09 PM   #12
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I think I know what the problem is. I believe the contacts in the battery disconnect relay have high resistance. I am getting a voltage drop across that relay when there shouldn't be one.

Once I understood the system, my symptoms make sense.

The disconnect relay has two sides, the power side and the coach side. The coach batteries flow through the inverter (charger), into the power side of the relay. The coach side (they call it the system side) of the relay goes to different parts of the coach. When the store button is pushed, this relay opens and shuts down most of the power to the coach. Some systems will still have power, for example. the radio and steps.

The isolator relay has two sides also, the coach battery side and the chassis battery side. There is a heavy gauge jumper from the power side of the disconnect relay to the coach side terminal of the isolator relay. The chassis battery is connected to the chassis side terminal.

There is a heavy wire that runs from the coach side terminal of the disconnect relay to the center lug of the fuse block. There is a light wire that runs from one of the fused tabs on that block to the Coach Bat lug on the control board. The right side of the fuse block is fed by a heavy gauge wire that runs from the coach side of the isolator relay to the block. The fuses in that block keep the radio and steps powered up when the disconnect relay is open (in store mode)

If the coach bat wire’s voltage is 13.5, the controller considers the coach batteries charged and it pulls in the isolator relay which connects the coach batteries to the chassis batteries. Charge voltage now flows to the chassis batteries.

That is the basics and there are other things that play into this system, engine running, generator running, etc.

My original problem was that the chassis batteries were not charging. On the Disconnect Relay, there was a voltage drop when reading each side of the relay. The system side never got above 13.0 volts. Therefore, the wire (mentioned above) that fed coach bat voltage to the controller never went above 13 volts and the controller never signaled the relay to connect the chassis and coach batteries.

I ordered a Disconnect relay on Amazon ($44 free shipping) and I will install it tomorrow. That should take care of the problem.

-B
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:57 AM   #13
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Broke down,

Wow...you are wired a bit differently than our 2016.

INVERTER ...3/0 goes from House Battery thru catastrophic fuse (350A) directly to Inverter...and nowhere else.


CHASSIS...I believe it’s a 2/0 cable from house battery, not fuse protected, goes to HOUSE side of bi-directional relay. Other side of bi-directional relay relay goes to chassis batteries.

HOUSE...2/0 “House” cable goes from House battery thru 150A catastrophic fuse to the disconnect relay. The relay is jumpered to a series of fuse panels and self-resetting breakers behind our cord reel. All items jumpered from the power in side of the disconnect are “continuous battery powered” (like the steps you mentioned)...the other side of the disconnect relay is jumpered to panels/breakers which are “non-continuous battery powered”...ie, the things that shut down when the disconnect switch is has triggered the relay into the store position.

I know this doesn’t help you...but if yours is wired like you say...it’s just a bit different from how a lot of us are wired.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Broke down,
I know this doesn’t help you...but if yours is wired like you say...it’s just a bit different from how a lot of us are wired.

There are big fuses in mine too.
In your setup, how is charge voltage handled?


I took a picture of my setup. It is behind the power real. In my browser, the picture is displaying landscape, it should be portrait, rotated 90 degrees clockwise.


-B
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