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Old 10-27-2010, 08:23 AM   #1
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House & Chassis Bats Always Connected


WHY?:
The house and chassis batteries are connected to each other 100% of the time, although only a trickle, even when the battery isolator/boost relay is not closed. Newmar has NOT been able to explain this, or tell us where and/or why this is happening, I know it is not happening at the battery isolator/boost relay. Our battery isolator will not pass any current(see below). Also, the purpiose of the Intellitec b.i.r.d. is to signal the battery isolator relay to open whenever the batteries are not being charged.

EQUIPMENT:
1998 Newmar 38' DutchStar DP, C8.3-300hp mechanical Cummins(no-ECM), Spartan chassis, Onan LPG 6500 gen, Todd Engineering Automatic Transfer Switch, Intellitec Bi-directional isolator relay delay diesel #00-00366-000, White Rodgers/RBM battery isolator/boost relay/solenoid Type 586-10511-3 12v continuous, Intellitec house relay/solenoid #01-00055-000, Todd Engineering Power Source 75 amp charger w/Todd Engineering automatic dual voltage charge controller #ADV-1. There is a small factory installed solar panel to maintain the battery(s?) with a dash mounted LED, also, a small factory installed 400w inverter that is only connected to the forward video equipment(tv, sat ant & rec, positioner, DVD).

HISTORY:
We have owned this coach for 2+ yrs. We have put over 20k miles on it. It came to us with these house and chassis LLA batteries. I believe they are 4+ yrs old. We've never had a problem with the batteries getting weak during or between trips, until now.

RECENT STUFF:
Since both the house & chassis batteries were showing their age, I am replacing them new LLA batteries. Before installing the new batteries, I traced from the battery compartment where all 5 battery cables go. We discovered that 1 of the 5 battery cables was mis-routed by somebody before we bought it? This mis-routed cable was routed to the house battery grd, when it should have been routed to a chassis battery positive. This would cause a dead short in the house battery circuit whenever the momentary boost switch was pushed or whenever the Intellitec Bi-directional isolator relay delay diesel b.i.r.d., #00-00366-000, signaled the isolator relay to close. Nothing is burnt or melted, but the White Rodgers battery isolator/boost relay makes clicking noises but will not pass any current, probably hasn't the whole time we've owned the coach. It hasn't been a problem with us for 2 reasons; 1) we always tend to run the generator a little each day when boon docking or we are hooked up to shore power. This coach doesn't have a full inverter system, so the house batteries don't get drained much. And, 2) There is ALWAYS a trickle connection SOMEWHERE??? between the house and coach batteries.

I am ordering a new White Rodgers relay and b.i.r.d., Intellitec #00-00366-000

NEW DISCOVERY/PROBLEM:
The Intellitec Bi-directional isolator relay delay diesel, #00-00366-000 does NOT have a wire connected to its terminal labeled GENSET? Best I can tell, it has never had one? I called Newmar again and they said sometimes they don't wire it with a Genset wire, but they didn't have an explaination why. So I plan to install a 12v input wire from the generator.

Does anybody knows where we can find an electrical schematic for this coach??????????

Thanks in advance!

Don, Lisa, and Lex
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:22 AM   #2
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A wiring diagram unless supplied by Newmar does not exsist. Since you have been talking to Newmar see if they will supply what they use, the Repair Center may have what you need.
Your coach has a build number that you should find in a cabinet that they may want.
There are links to the BIRD and other controllers in Quick Tips link if you need them.
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:58 PM   #3
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Hi Don,
Why do you want to put the new wire on the BIRD? Consider not doing this until you are sure of the goal and this will help you get to the goal. When the generator is running the transfer switch will be in the proper position to allow the battery charger to be powered and charge the batteries.

I am not clear on the purpose of the wire you intend to add.
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:27 PM   #4
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You don't need a Newmar diagram for the BIRD function. If it's not wired like the Intellitec example, it simply won't work.

The subject 12v lead from the generator is only there as a lockout to cripple the BIRD in the event that you have the engine (alternator) and the generator running at the same time. It was meant to protect the alternator or the converter in case either would be harmed by being connected to the output of the other.

If you have ever run your generator, while the engine was running, then you have already proved that you don't need that wire. Unless, of course, you did burn up a converter or alternator each time you did it. I'm not aware of any brand of converter or alternator that claims to be adversely affected by this possibility of connection.
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:10 PM   #5
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Bats Always Connected

Thanks for you help!

I'm gonna put a mechanical cut-off switch near the chassis batteries so that when the coach isn't being used the 2 battery banks aren't connected.

I ordered another battery isolator/boost relay, and another B.I.R.D., this time the #00-00839-100 which does the same thing(s) as the one I'm replacing, the #00-00366-000. Intellitec doesn't make the #00-00366-000 anymore. I wonder why? Was it somehow keeping the two sets of batteries connected all the time??

We live in TX and it gets hot here. We run the gen while driving. We need all the air conditioning we can get here in the summer, bigtime! I'm no genious , but the alternator and generator/charger both trying to charge the batteries at the same time seems like trouble looking for a place to happen. I'm gonna hook a Genset wire up to the new b.i.r.d.
Does anybody know what the Todd Engineering automatic dual voltage charge controller #ADV-1 under my charger does? I think they went out of business? My guess is it turns my charger into a dual range charger, from Bulk to Float?

Thanks
Don
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:55 PM   #6
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Update: House & Chassis Bats

Beside all new LLA batteries, we replaced the no longer available #00-00366-000 Intellitec bi-directional isolator relay delay diesel (otherwise know as a B.I.R.D.) with #00-00839-000($35). We also replaced the bad White/Rodgers(now called Stancor) battery isolator/boost relay($49).

I also ran a 12v wire from the gen that is hot when it's running, to the B.I.R.D. terminal labeled GEN. Newmar failed to run this wire to the GEN terminal of the B.I.R.D. which would allow the batteries to be charge by both the gen and the engine alternator when you have both of them running at the same time. This can cause erroneous problems in the electrical system because you have 2 charging systems fighting for supremacy. I ran this wire thru a driver operated on/off switch mounted on the dash. This will make it possible to charge both house and chassis batteries off the generator when its running and the engine alternator is off. Without this switch, the B.I.R.D. opens the battery isolator relay whenever the gen is running, thus preventing the chassis batteries from being charged by the gen. Now when we run both the gen and the engine alternator at the sametime, with the flip of the switch, the driver will isolate the 2 battery banks and their primary charging systems from each other. The gen will charge the house batteries only, and the alternator will charge the chassis batteries only. No more charging systems fighting each other for supremacy.

I plan to put a mechanical cut-off switch near the chassis batteries in the not so distant future too.

We hope this helps

Don
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:07 PM   #7
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Both sets of batteries always in charge mode.

Thought I had same problem due to misinformation in owners manual.
B.I.R.D. #00-00839-000 isolator relay is designed to charge both sets of batteries at the same time by either the genset or 120 Volt AC house power, they will be charged at the same volt rate (each large terminal on the relay will show the same volts).
Both sets of batteries will also be charged at the same time by the engine alternator if only the engine is running, they will be charged at the same volt rate (each large terminal on the relay will show the same volts).
If the engine is running and the genset/converter is running both sets of batt. will still be charged at the same time, but the charge volts will be different due to the higher output of the (each large terminal on the relay will show a different volt). alternator,(genset wire must be attached to BIRD relay to isolate one set from the other).
Both sets of batt. will always be in charge mode at the same time as long as the chassis battery disconnect and the house (coach) battery disconnect switch is in the on position and you are connected to house power or the genset.
The isolator relay has two small terminals one is the signal wire from the BIRD the other is the ground.
The BIRD sends a momentary 12 volt signal to the relay to close it then reduces it to 4 VOLTS to keep it from overheating, the only time the relay should be open is when the engine and genset is running at the same time.
Go to (intellitec.com.) click on technical support then click service manual, then click on bi-directional isolator relay diesel 2 ,you can download instructions and a wire digram for the BIRD relay.
Go back and click Products page then 00839 relay for more info.

As both sets are always in charge mode, (it may just be just a trickle charge) check batt. water level every couple months especially in the summer.
Hope this helps, Abe
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:18 AM   #8
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Always Connected 100%

Thanks for trying Abe:

I read your post. I know and have all this info. None of it explains where, how. or why both sets of batteries are connected 100% of the time. I can, and have, taken the battery isolator relay completely off the coach, and yet both sets of batteries are still connected somewhere, and for some reason, to each other, although only a trickle? I'm guessing its thru the solar charging system?

There aren't any mechanical battery disconnects on a 98 DSDP. The only battery disconnect is for the house batteries via a solenoid/relay(salesman switch). But even when the house batteries are disconnected with this solenoid, THE 2 SETS OF BATTERIES ARE STILL CONNECTED TO EACH OTHER????????????

Don
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:58 PM   #9
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Hi lonestarace,
Can you help me understand how you know the batteries are connected to each other.
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:46 PM   #10
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Batts Connected

I'll try Gary:

I can take the terminals off the house battery(one 8D) and read chassis battery voltage on them with my multimeter. Same goes for the chassis batteries.

Another way, if I try to start the gen, with the chassis batteries disconnected, the gen starter relay chatters with weak voltage and/or amperage.

Another, with the chassis batteries disconnected, if I turn the keyed ignition switch from OFF to ON, the instrument panel comes to life as if the chassis batteries were connected. When I go to START with the keyed ign, everything goes dead because there isn't enough voltage and or amperage to make anything happen.

The same goes for things on the house battery circuit with the house battery disconnected.

Weird?

By the way, everything is working great on the coach.

I labeled the TWO POSITION dash switch for the B.I.R.D. GEN terminal wire that I ran:"WHEN BOTH GEN & C8.3 ARE RUNNING"
and
"ANY OTHER TIME"

Don
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