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Old 06-22-2008, 05:50 AM   #1
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Hi guy's


Sorry to bring this subject up again - I can see that it has been discussed several times earlier.

I need to make sure that I understand the function of these 2 devices correctly:

1) The Echo charger (which I have already installed in the battery compartment) is needed because when you are not moving and hooked up to shore power, your chassis batteries will not be charged unless you have something like the Echo charger installed. I am pretty sure that this is correct (I hope).

2) The Bird made by Intellitec (which installs in the outside front cargo room under the drivers seat) is needed because without this the house batteries will not be charged while you are driving along.

Is this how it is?

Thank you for your assistance.

The Great Dane
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Old 06-22-2008, 05:50 AM   #2
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Hi guy's


Sorry to bring this subject up again - I can see that it has been discussed several times earlier.

I need to make sure that I understand the function of these 2 devices correctly:

1) The Echo charger (which I have already installed in the battery compartment) is needed because when you are not moving and hooked up to shore power, your chassis batteries will not be charged unless you have something like the Echo charger installed. I am pretty sure that this is correct (I hope).

2) The Bird made by Intellitec (which installs in the outside front cargo room under the drivers seat) is needed because without this the house batteries will not be charged while you are driving along.

Is this how it is?

Thank you for your assistance.

The Great Dane
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Old 06-22-2008, 07:35 AM   #3
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Great Dane,

Number 1 is correct. Number 2 is not quite right.

The Intellitec BIRD module (Bi-directional Isolator Relay Delay) is found on high-end Monaco coaches to allow current to flow through the Isolator relay in both directions under controlled circumstances. The BIRD allows both for the charging of the house batteries from the alternator while underway AND the charging of the chassis batterers from the inverter/charger while plugged in or the genset is running. As of 2008 they have started installing this module on some mid-level coaches like Dips and Endeavors. (Not all coaches have them installed for some odd reason.) Or you can install one in the front run bay, as you said. If you have a BIRD module you would not need the Xantrex Echo~charge.

On the Dips, Knights, etc., there is already an Intellitec IRD module installed on the large "house" circuit board inside the front run bay. You would already have one of these. This opens the Isolator Relay, under certain circumstances, to allow the alternator to charge both banks while underway. Read more here on my web site.

Bottom line... If you have installed the echo~charge, you are good for both functions, since you would have the IRD already.
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Old 06-22-2008, 08:39 AM   #4
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Robin

Thank you for taking the time to explain this.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Robin_M:
Bottom line... If you have installed the echo~charge, you are good for both functions, since you would have the IRD already. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I feel a bit stupid now but are you saying that with the current installation in my 07 Diplomat (including the Echo charger) my house batteries should be charging while driving? The reason I am asking is that I don't think that this happens. You write that the isolator relay opens "under certain circumstances"? Could it be that these circumstances are not present?

I have looked at your web site but being an electric system novice I can't unfortunately draw any conclusions from here. I am sorry!


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Old 06-22-2008, 08:43 AM   #5
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This is what I think I read:

When the chassis batteries are completely charged the IRD will arrange for the house batteries to be charged while driving.

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Old 06-22-2008, 08:59 AM   #6
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Great Dane,

The IRD is soldered right onto the main circuit board in the front run bay. You definately have one. The "circumstances" under which it opens the main isolator relay (the aux start relay) are fairly general as follows...

1. There is at least 13.3 volts present in the chassis 12V system for more than 12 seconds at a time (which would normally be the case when you are driving).

2. The chassis 12v system is not over-loaded (IOW there is excess current being induced by the alternator). This means that your chassis batteries must have a fairly good charge on them already.

3. The genset is not running. (If it were it would already be charging the house batteries.)

So as you can see, your house batteries should be charging most of the time you are driving. The charge time will not be as fast, however, as it would be with the inverter/charger plugged in.

Here is the service manual for the IRD. It will give you more information.
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Old 06-22-2008, 09:02 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by The_Danes_are_comeing:
This is what I think I read:

When the chassis batteries are completely charged the IRD will arrange for the house batteries to be charged while driving. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Yep. ...or "almost" completely charged. That's what I meant in point #2 in the last message.
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:58 PM   #8
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How can I test the BIRD system and know it's working and charging the house batteries. I've notice that my house batteries don't go above 11.6 volts. I can drive over 500 miles per day and the house batteries stays around 11.6 volts.
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:21 AM   #9
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iceit,

On your 06 Dip, you should have the IRD on the main house circuit board in the front run bay. I've never tried this test, but in theory, you should be able to test it with the engine running and the chassis batteries fully charged. I'd let it run for a while with the RPM's kicked up to the higher level (using the cruise contol). If the IRD is working, you should see 12v at the red wire coming off the IRD unit. You should also be able to read 12v across the two small wires on the main isolator relay in the battery compartment. (The two small wires activate the relay.) The two large cables on the isolator relay should read the same voltage to ground, as the relay should be closed if the IRD is working. Of course, if your house batteries are not charging properly, there could be several other reasons for that besides a faulty IRD.

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Old 10-14-2008, 06:17 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by iceit:
I can drive over 500 miles per day and the house batteries stays around 11.6 volts. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
If your coach batteries are showing only 11.6 volts, then there is either a load on them or their state of charge is only about 20%. For a voltage vs charge state chart go here and look for the red, yellow, and green table under state of charge.

If you believe their charge is good, try turning off your inverter and see if the battery voltage goes up. If it doesn't go up with your inverter off, then turn your coach batteries off to remove all loads and measure their voltage to determine their charge with no load.
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:18 AM   #11
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I had read about this earlier and had a automatic charger I was going to install. Lo and behold, while I was poking around one day I noticed that my Cayman XL has a BIRD module installed under the fuse panel box in the driver's side compartment. I never thought I had it due to the posts it may only be in the higher end coaches.
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:41 PM   #12
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Lenny,

They started installing the BIRD in some 2008 raised rail coaches. Some have it, some do not. I have no idea how they decided which coaches got the "free upgrade".
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:28 AM   #13
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I guess I need to check my 08 Cayman.
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Old 10-16-2008, 10:03 AM   #14
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Mine is directly centered under the fuse box mounted on the back wall. the wiring as previously described runs up and to the connector mentioned previously on the Circuit board.
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