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Old 09-05-2016, 09:21 PM   #15
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I recently had my chassis batteries die due to my echo charger going out. I tried to use my boost to start but I don't think it was working. I suspected that the relay was out and figured I would just jump the leads on the relay with a single jumper cable if needed to start the chassis and or the generator rather than change the relay. Anyway I touched the relay and It was really hot and figured it was normally closed and needs voltage by either of the battery systems to keep it open. Then when you require the jump I would imagine that the battery with charge (that is holding the Normaly closed switch open) has the current cut when you apply the switch so that the relay is allowed to close and put your two battery banks in parallel.

I have a 2006 and by brother has a 2008 and his relay is always hot to the touch too.

Not sure why I wrote this, I guess I was hoping that a knowledgable person can confirm that this is "all normal" on the Vasco systems.
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:16 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parkereng View Post
I recently had my chassis batteries die due to my echo charger going out. I tried to use my boost to start but I don't think it was working. I suspected that the relay was out and figured I would just jump the leads on the relay with a single jumper cable if needed to start the chassis and or the generator rather than change the relay. Anyway I touched the relay and It was really hot and figured it was normally closed and needs voltage by either of the battery systems to keep it open. Then when you require the jump I would imagine that the battery with charge (that is holding the Normaly closed switch open) has the current cut when you apply the switch so that the relay is allowed to close and put your two battery banks in parallel.

I have a 2006 and by brother has a 2008 and his relay is always hot to the touch too.

Not sure why I wrote this, I guess I was hoping that a knowledgable person can confirm that this is "all normal" on the Vasco systems.
If you have a charging source such as shoreline, generator, or alternator running the solenoid should be warm or even hot to the touch. They can draw a lot of power.

Measure the voltage on each of the large posts. With the relay warm the voltage should be within .2 volts. If you see any difference, the relay contacts are not working.

It is very common for these relays to have bad contacts.
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:04 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Parkereng View Post
I recently had my chassis batteries die due to my echo charger going out. I tried to use my boost to start but I don't think it was working. I suspected that the relay was out and figured I would just jump the leads on the relay with a single jumper cable if needed to start the chassis and or the generator rather than change the relay. Anyway I touched the relay and It was really hot and figured it was normally closed and needs voltage by either of the battery systems to keep it open. Then when you require the jump I would imagine that the battery with charge (that is holding the Normaly closed switch open) has the current cut when you apply the switch so that the relay is allowed to close and put your two battery banks in parallel.

I have a 2006 and by brother has a 2008 and his relay is always hot to the touch too.

Not sure why I wrote this, I guess I was hoping that a knowledgable person can confirm that this is "all normal" on the Vasco systems.

The relay going bad is a fairly common issue that you don't find out about until you try to use it. I think it is one of those things we need to add to a periodic test list.
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:16 AM   #18
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My 03 doesn't have the Vansco comm. module system so I don't have much first-hand experience with this issue. However, Alpine owners have been having problems with this solenoid, almost since day one. I remember seeing owners of nearly new 2005s with outside battery chargers plugged in to pedestals.
I am told these solenoids in Alpines are heavy duty, built for 300 or more amps, and 10s of thousands if not millions of cycles, yet they fail routinely on many Alpines. Nor do I think high surface temperatures is a "normal" operating condition for these solenoids--takes a lot of continuous 12v current to keep them that hot.
No facts here but I continue to believe there is something wrong with the charging logic used by the Vansco modules. Over the years, Alpine owners have reported rapid cycling of the solenoid while on shore power, suggesting that once the bats reach float, the charging parameters are at a tipping point that may cause the cycling.
Know this has been a recurring issue on this forum over the years--if there has been a definitive explanation of why this solenoid fails--I missed it....
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Old 09-07-2016, 09:06 AM   #19
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PS--another consideration is the impact of the OEM solar cells on the aforementioned "tipping point" built into the Vansco charging parameters. Although the 100 watts of OEM cells are little more than a trickle charger for the bats, the impact on battery float levels vs any phantom amp draws on the coach could potentially trigger a repetitive cycling of the solenoid.
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:15 AM   #20
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Some systems reduce the control voltage to the solenoids but they have reported different issues. These solenoids draw about 1.5 amps. That is equivalent to a 25 watt bulb. That is a lot of heat held inside. Other issues is the mounting. If mounted incorrectly they can accumulate moisture inside from heating and cooling.

Many are mounted on surfaces other than metal so the heat sink effect is lost from the band around the solenoid.

When my BIRD control board failed I installed a low current draw device that charges either way and left the large solenoid in place to use as an emergency start solenoid. This has worked great for many years.
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Old 09-07-2016, 04:24 PM   #21
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I'm not sure I understand all I know about the Trombetta and the Vansco charging set up, but here goes.

My understanding is that the Vansco senses the state of charge of the house batts and when they are fully charged it compares them with the chassis batts. If the Vansco sees a difference of X number of volts it sends a signal to output #19(?) to close the Trombetta and tie the house and chassis batts together and bring the house batts. up to a full charge.

I assume that once the chassis batts. reach a full charge the Vansco is supposed to tell the Trombetta to open and separate the battery banks and all is well. The alternative is that the Vansco keeps the Trombetta closed and both banks stay at float level. Like I said, these are assumptions.

In my case, and from what I gather from a couple of other posts, this doesn't appear to be happening. My Trombetta, which I bought in Feb. of this year, is staying closed all of the time and is running too hot to touch. On the Vansco I have a #19 output on all of the time. I can open and close the relay by removing the ground lead from the small terminal.

When I operate the batt. boost switch the Vansco #15 input lights, but nothing happens, the Trombetta is already closed. In view of all of the above I have isolated the ground lead from the Trombetta, so that it will remain open, and I've installed an Echo charger. My plan is to install a switch on the cabinet that houses the batt. posts and relay etc and use the switch as a battery boost. If I inadvertently leave the switch closed it won't hurt anything.

I'm with Old Scout when it comes to a Vansco charging logic issue. I am open to thoughts, suggestions and corrections. I would also like to know if anybody is having a different experience with their Vansco and relay.

Terry
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Old 09-07-2016, 04:38 PM   #22
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Forgive me for stating the obvious--but Vansco is known to "lose" control of one or more circuits from time to time--like me, I suppose. Any chance you have tried resetting the Vansco modules by turn off the chassis battery switch, then back on again. Is Vansco [light #19] is the issue and a reset doesn't clear it, then an echo charger would circumvent having the solenoid closed all the time. Not sure how Vansco senses disparity voltages between the battery banks to activate the charging logic.
PS--believe "light 19" is a two-way street--example: if you are on shore power and draw down the chassis bats [eg dash radio], Vansco will close the solenoid and keep the chassis bat charged....
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Old 09-07-2016, 04:43 PM   #23
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Yep, they've been reset quite a few times. I just replaced the front VMM and yesterday I received a new spare VMM. Like I said, I opted for an echo charger just because I feel better not having the red hot relay sitting there doing pretty much nothing.

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Old 09-07-2016, 09:22 PM   #24
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Well I think I learned something today. When I would hit the battery boost on my dash (2006 34FDDS) I can see Vasco 15 input light go on. No noise from the "Trombetta".

Now the interesting thing. Turned Vasco power off for thirty seconds, turned it back on and noticed the Vasco 19 Output light was now off. Well, had my son hit the dash switch and once again the Vasco 15 input lit up, but Vasco 19 output now lit up and the Trombetta clicked. Every time he pushed the dash switch 15 went on, 19 went on, and the Trombetta clicked.

After about 2 or 3 minutes Vasco 19 output lit up by itself, Trombetta clicked and it stayed that way for ever. Once in this state I could never get 19 and the Tormbetta to change again.( until I powered Vasco off again).

There must be some logic within the Vasco itself then monitors multiple things (such as house batteries, chassis batteries, ETC) and changes the state of the Trombetta as the Vasco sees fit.

Anyway, a little light was shined on this system today. Once I got the Trombetta to switch I could trouble shoot it and determined that the contacts were burnt and no current could pass in either state. Now I think I know why my chassis batteries had an echo charger on them to stay charged, because the Trombetta would not pass current and the chassis batteries would go dead without the eco charger.

My plans are to replace the Trombetta, and once this is done I think I can chuck the eco charger. So I think.

Any insight would be appreciated.
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:48 AM   #25
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I was unsatisfied with the decisions Vasco made relating to the effective charging of my batteries. We boondock an average of about 100 days a year and I have three solar panels. My solution for charging the batteries is as follows:
1. Installed an echo charger to charge the chassis batteries when we are using solar power or plugged in.
2. Disconnected the Vasco output to the solenoid and installed a switch on the dash to energize the solenoid when traveling so I can charge the house batteries with the alternator. The switch could also be used as a booster switch if necessary.

I installed this system about a year ago and it works well. Since the solenoid operation is a manual system I need to remember to turn on the switch when traveling and turn it off when I arrive at my destination.
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:05 AM   #26
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Parkereng--didn't catch in your earlier post that you had an after-market echo charger installed on a Vansco coach--clearly the previous owner had a problem with the OEM [Vansco] charging system. Good news is: your Vansco charging logic is still intact; bad news is: it resulted in burnt solenoid contacts. So the root cause persists--suspect the new solenoid will likely fail too.
Ken T.-- the boost switch in my 03 [which I no longer use], has a momentary switch--requires that you hold it down for boost. Recently learned that newer Alpines came with std latching switches that remain closed until you switch them off. Agree--your upgrade basically parallels how my older Alpine works, except that my coach also has a battery isolator to control voltage between banks. Not sure how your upgrade differs from mine--eg. my isolator interacts with alternator [DuVac system] to balance charging/limit one bank from discharging the other.
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:24 AM   #27
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My charging has worked fine since I replaced the Trombetta. My issue is with the darn thing staying closed all of the time and running as hot as it does. Maybe I'm over thinking it or worrying too much.

Parkereng, I will try some resetting and switching etc like you did, hopefully with a helper this week end. I'm curious to see if I get the same results. We seem to be going in opposite directions, I just this week added a Xantrex Echo Charger and bypassed the relay, go figure.

Ken T, I'm thinking I like your idea. When I get the time I'll wire in a switch on or close to the dash and try your method. If nothing else I'll have a working batt. boost switch in place.

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Old 09-08-2016, 09:59 AM   #28
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Quote:
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Good news is: your Vansco charging logic is still intact; bad news is: it resulted in burnt solenoid contacts. So the root cause persists--suspect the new solenoid will likely fail too.
Are you implying that the Vansco logic is the root cause? If that is the case, I think you are right saying that a new solenoid will fail too.

If you/I are right I think the best thing to do in my case is leave the chassis batteries isolated from the house batteries (In may case this is all the time because my relay clicks but always shows no continuity) And use the eco charger to keep up the chassis batteries. The only reason I got involved in this topic is because my chassis batteries died and I went to start it with the booster but the booster did not seem to help so I got out the jumper cables and started my rig. Now I wanted to figure out why the booster did not work.

I would imagine that I could keep the echo charger and replace the solenoid with a manual battery disconnect switch and use this switch if my chassis and house batteries need to be joined for jumping.
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