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Old 02-27-2014, 07:51 PM   #1
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Another battery charging Question

My 08 Dynasty has a Magnum inverter , 8-6 volt house batteries and the 2 grp 31 chassis batteries. I was servicing my genset today and when I hit switch to extend the genie nothing happened. I have also been having the same problem with the slides. Usually after a few tries it works. Problem was intermittent. MH has not been driven since end of Oct. I usually plug it in for a week once a month. I plugged it in for 30 minutes and the slide worked. But when I went to start the genie it hardly turned over. Hit the battery boost and nothing happened. I figured the batteries were too low for the boost switch to engage. Started up the MH and then the genie fired up. I went back to my shop an hour ago and realized that I do not hear the big boy relay buzzing. MH was on 50 amps. I checked the Magnum remote and it was at float charging but only 12.6 volts and zero amps. I opened the rear hatch and the big boy was cold to the touch. Checked the batteries and the chassis were @12.6 and the house @12.8 . I checked the Magnum remote and all the settings were OK. I do not want go on a wild goose chase but I am suspecting a battery problem. The 6 volts are 17 months old and the chassis batteries are about 2.5 years old. If I understand the whole B.I.R.D system the chassis batteries do not get charged until the house batteries are over 12.8 volts. I am thinking of disconnecting the cables and charging them with a good portable charger. I have one of those Black and Decker 25 amp electronic units. But before I do anything I could use some help to make sure I am on the right path. I could also check each of the 6 volts to see if one has really low voltage. The B.I.R.D system in the Dynasty has the circuit board in the Rear run bay. Any help appreciated. On Edit: I just went back to my shop and plugged the MH in again. The Magnum Remote showed 13.8 volts absorb charging@ 50 amps. But soon dropped to 35 amps. No bulk charging. The house batteries showed the same voltage and the B.I.R.D green light was on with the Big Boy buzzing.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:34 PM   #2
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I think you either leave it plugged in all of the time or disconnect both battery banks. There is too much of a load that you cannot turn off to leave the MH unplugged for three weeks.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:45 PM   #3
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dtbt: Monaco has 2 battery disconnects. Still a few very small loads but 3 weeks is no big deal. Been doing this for 5 years!
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by moisheh View Post
My 08 Dynasty has a Magnum inverter , 8-6 volt house batteries and the 2 grp 31 chassis batteries. I was servicing my genset today and when I hit switch to extend the genie nothing happened. I have also been having the same problem with the slides. Usually after a few tries it works. Problem was intermittent. MH has not been driven since end of Oct. I usually plug it in for a week once a month. I plugged it in for 30 minutes and the slide worked. But when I went to start the genie it hardly turned over. Hit the battery boost and nothing happened. I figured the batteries were too low for the boost switch to engage. Started up the MH and then the genie fired up. I went back to my shop an hour ago and realized that I do not hear the big boy relay buzzing. MH was on 50 amps. I checked the Magnum remote and it was at float charging but only 12.6 volts and zero amps. I opened the rear hatch and the big boy was cold to the touch. Checked the batteries and the chassis were @12.6 and the house @12.8 . I checked the Magnum remote and all the settings were OK. I do not want go on a wild goose chase but I am suspecting a battery problem. The 6 volts are 17 months old and the chassis batteries are about 2.5 years old. If I understand the whole B.I.R.D system the chassis batteries do not get charged until the house batteries are over 12.8 volts. I am thinking of disconnecting the cables and charging them with a good portable charger. I have one of those Black and Decker 25 amp electronic units. But before I do anything I could use some help to make sure I am on the right path. I could also check each of the 6 volts to see if one has really low voltage. The B.I.R.D system in the Dynasty has the circuit board in the Rear run bay. Any help appreciated. On Edit: I just went back to my shop and plugged the MH in again. The Magnum Remote showed 13.8 volts absorb charging@ 50 amps. But soon dropped to 35 amps. No bulk charging. The house batteries showed the same voltage and the B.I.R.D green light was on with the Big Boy buzzing.
On shore power (inverter/charger) I believe it's 12.5 vdc or below for a drop out of the BIRD ... needs to be above 13.1 vdc to pick the solenoid ... that's for a late version on an Intellitec BIRD. On Genset the lockout is engaged and the BIRD is crippled ... Diesel only.
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:26 AM   #5
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According to my manual it is 12.8. There are a few versions of this setup. Whether it is 12.5 or 12.8 I still have a problem and could sure use some help. I need to fix this very soon.
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:38 AM   #6
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According to my manual it is 12.8. There are a few versions of this setup. Whether it is 12.5 or 12.8 I still have a problem and could sure use some help. I need to fix this very soon.
Are you sure you have a problem other than the batteries were discharged? I'd try charging them all standalone with a trickle charger and then see what's going on.
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:06 PM   #7
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UPDATE:: I thought about my problem while going to sleep last night and decided I would start by checking the cells with an hydrometer and each battery with a voltmeter. I had left the unit plugged in overnight and it was still not charging enough. The Remote panel showed 12.7 volts and no charging. Every cell was the same and each battery was around 6.4 volts. I installed them in Nov. of 2012. Decided to undo each cable and clean. Most were actually ok but one had some corrosion and another was not that great. Now they all shine like jewelry! The chassis batteries have a junction in the wheel well . It was covered with dirt. When I undid both sides it was corroded some. Not now! I connected the MH to AC and immediately the Big Boy was humming and the inverter was showing 13.8 volts. Not right. I disconnected the power and turned on the inverter and the fridge( house fridge) to draw down the batteries. Once the battery voltage dropped to 12.4 I turned off the fridge and reconnected the power, Immediately went into bulk charging but only 13.8. I had read somewhere that Magnum sometimes recommends to set the charge rate @ 90 ( 80 default). Voltage jumped up to 14.6 and after a few minutes the charger went into absorb mode with the same voltage. According to my Magnum manual that is correct. Being as the batteries were @ 50 % should not take too long to see if all is OK. I did check both sides of the Big Boy. One was showing the 14.6 ( house) and the other side was around 13.2. I do not know if that is correct.
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:00 PM   #8
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UPDATE:: I thought about my problem while going to sleep last night and decided I would start by checking the cells with an hydrometer and each battery with a voltmeter. I had left the unit plugged in overnight and it was still not charging enough. The Remote panel showed 12.7 volts and no charging. Every cell was the same and each battery was around 6.4 volts. I installed them in Nov. of 2012. Decided to undo each cable and clean. Most were actually ok but one had some corrosion and another was not that great. Now they all shine like jewelry! The chassis batteries have a junction in the wheel well . It was covered with dirt. When I undid both sides it was corroded some. Not now! I connected the MH to AC and immediately the Big Boy was humming and the inverter was showing 13.8 volts. Not right. I disconnected the power and turned on the inverter and the fridge( house fridge) to draw down the batteries. Once the battery voltage dropped to 12.4 I turned off the fridge and reconnected the power, Immediately went into bulk charging but only 13.8. I had read somewhere that Magnum sometimes recommends to set the charge rate @ 90 ( 80 default). Voltage jumped up to 14.6 and after a few minutes the charger went into absorb mode with the same voltage. According to my Magnum manual that is correct. Being as the batteries were @ 50 % should not take too long to see if all is OK. I did check both sides of the Big Boy. One was showing the 14.6 ( house) and the other side was around 13.2. I do not know if that is correct.
This would depend on whether the Big Boy solenoid is picked ... if it picked the voltage on both sides should be the same. If it is picked and the voltage is not the same, the contacts inside the relay have failed.
In other words, if picked, it should be a dead short. the other possibility would be corrosion at one or both attachment points for the large cables to the solenoid.
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:32 PM   #9
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Bruce. The posts are clean like new. Are you sure the voltage should be the same? Not if the big boy is only charging the house batteries. Right now it is working as it should. Still charging 14.6 but the amps have been dropping. Next it should go into float mode. I am not going to fix what ain't broke. The contacts could be dirty but that is a job for another day. I am happy that the house batteries are charging. I just checked the chassis batteries and they are charging @ 14.4 Almost the same as the house batteries. Thanks
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:35 PM   #10
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It sounds to me like the contacts in the Big Boy are corroded because that was the way mine was reading until I cleaned it. Like I told you Moisheh it is so easy to clean. I am going to clean mine every 2-3 years.
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Old 02-28-2014, 04:19 PM   #11
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Bruce. The posts are clean like new. Are you sure the voltage should be the same? Not if the big boy is only charging the house batteries. Right now it is working as it should. Still charging 14.6 but the amps have been dropping. Next it should go into float mode. I am not going to fix what ain't broke. The contacts could be dirty but that is a job for another day. I am happy that the house batteries are charging. I just checked the chassis batteries and they are charging @ 14.4 Almost the same as the house batteries. Thanks
Well ... like I said, IF the Big Boy solenoid is picked, the voltage on the 2 sides should be identical. It's only function is to tie the Chassis and House batteries together with a zero resistance path.

The Big Boy doesn't "charge" anything ... it's just a high priced "jumper wire".
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Old 02-28-2014, 04:26 PM   #12
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Leave it plugged in for like 24 hours.

IF you have 8 six volt house batteries that is 4 12 volt pairs, or just over 900 amp hours of house battery.. How big is your converter? I am going to guess 100 amps max.. So to bring those puppies from 50 to 90 percent is going to take, around 5 hours, then you need 4 more to top them off.. Of course before you get to 90% the big boy should close and dump another 130 amp hours of Group 31 in the mix.. This will nto affect the 4 more hours I would give it at least 12 hours to charge.
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Old 02-28-2014, 04:37 PM   #13
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See if this link helps you any and I leave my coach plugged in all winter with BCO switch on and Bird just does its job.
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Old 02-28-2014, 04:51 PM   #14
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It sounds to me like the contacts in the Big Boy are corroded because that was the way mine was reading until I cleaned it. Like I told you Moisheh it is so easy to clean. I am going to clean mine every 2-3 years.
Yup ... they must undergo ridiculous arcing. I'm amazed they last as long as they do.
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