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Old 03-24-2010, 09:28 PM   #1
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BIRD Questions

I hate to bring this item up again but I have had this Newmar MADP for one month. When I got it home, I found that the battery isolator was closed. After removing the fuse and allowing the isolator to open I found the house batteries to be a total of .45 volts. The chassis were 12.75 volts. I replaced the house batteries, but the isolator still closes when the fuse is replaced. I cut off pedestal power and "boondocked" for several hours allowing the house batteries to go to 12.09 volts. At the end the isolator would still close when the fuse was replaced. The ignition was 0 volts. Needless to say if I was boondocking the chassis battery would be pulled down with the house battery. I can only think the BIRD is bad. I have read numerous threads with most saying the BIRD seldom is the problem, but with the house batteries being so bad when I got the coach (.45 volts) I wonder if it did something to the BIRD.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:55 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan1 View Post
I hate to bring this item up again but I have had this Newmar MADP for one month. When I got it home, I found that the battery isolator was closed. After removing the fuse and allowing the isolator to open I found the house batteries to be a total of .45 volts. The chassis were 12.75 volts. I replaced the house batteries, but the isolator still closes when the fuse is replaced. I cut off pedestal power and "boondocked" for several hours allowing the house batteries to go to 12.09 volts. At the end the isolator would still close when the fuse was replaced. The ignition was 0 volts. Needless to say if I was boondocking the chassis battery would be pulled down with the house battery. I can only think the BIRD is bad. I have read numerous threads with most saying the BIRD seldom is the problem, but with the house batteries being so bad when I got the coach (.45 volts) I wonder if it did something to the BIRD.
What is a BIRD?
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:19 AM   #3
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Bi-directional isolator relay delay. This is used to allow charging of both banks of batteries at certain times.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:40 AM   #4
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The Aux start switch will cause the BIRD relay to close. Could it be stuck in the on position? Or defective?

Also, does your Newmar have just the BIRD relay or is the relay part of an Intelletec Battery Control Center (which has a circuit board to control when the relay engages for charging). If just the BIRD, what besides aux start is supposed to close the relay? Engine running (13+V from alternator) would likely be one trigger, but there may be others. You need to find what things can apply power to the terminal on the BIRD, causing it to close.

If the BIRD stays closed even with no power to its trigger terminal, then the relay is stuck closed and needs to be replaced. But since you said it opens when the fuse (to the trigger terminal) is removed, that does not seem to be the case.
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:47 PM   #5
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alan1:

The BIRD is not supposed to close the isolation relay until either battery voltage is above 13V for a period of time (or the Aux start switch circuit is closed or shorted, as Gary mentioned). If the Aux start switch is not holding the isolation relay closed then the BIRD is bad.

You should be able to disconnect the Aux start switch wire and see if the isolation relay opens (there may be a fuse, otherwise it will somehow be connected to the wire between the BIRD and the isolation relay and you will have to remove only that wire and keep the BIRD connected).

Intellitec has a good troubleshooting section in their manual:
http://intellitec.com/PDF/5300362.100.pdf or http://intellitec.com/PDF/5300362.100.pdf, depending on what BIRD you have.

Good luck!
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Old 03-25-2010, 03:38 PM   #6
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The Aux start switch was the first thing I checked. I removed it completely and the relay still stayed closed. There are no other electrical boards around the BIRD. No BBC I know of, but only having it for a month, I am still learning about it. The prior owner did not maintain it, so I have been doing a lot of work on it. Such a shame on a rig like this. The price was right, so I can afford to buy parts for it.
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:05 AM   #7
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I do not believe that Newmar uses an intellitec BCC on this coach. I would recommend that you determine if a mis-wiring of battery and load side cables could be the culprit. You will need to manually remove chassis cables from the charging or isolator relay solenoid. Being disconnected from shore power and generator off, look for any house battery voltage getting to the chassis battery; it could be going around the BIRD and isolator relay solenoid circuitry.
Have you contacted Newmar for the 12 volt wiring diagram for the battery banks and corresponding charging circuits? This may be of great help if you find what I think might be your issue.
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Old 03-27-2010, 01:25 PM   #8
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RV Wizard-- thanks for getting involved as I was wishing you would. I found a inexpensive ($44) BIRD and ordered it. If I still have a problem I will do the testing you suggested. I am a little worried do to the amps involved of doing that kind of stuff. On the battery tray, it has a cable guide that I checked and those were ok.
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:54 PM   #9
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Yes, let us know how the new bird does.
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Old 03-31-2010, 02:07 PM   #10
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Update

The new BIRD arrived and after removing the old and hooking up the new one all is the way it should be. The new BIRD opens the relay as it should after removing the charging of the inverter like I was boondocking and running the house batteries down, this way the chassis batteries stay charged.
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:34 PM   #11
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YEEEAAAAA! Another one for the good guys. All the problems should disappear so easily.!!
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