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Old 08-28-2013, 05:01 PM   #1
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Troubleshoot Boost switch

I should have asked this question when I asked where the boost switch relay was. Now I need to know how to troubleshoot the relay or solinold to figure how to fix it.
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:35 PM   #2
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First off, are the house batteries good? If not, you have no juice to switch the relay. The relay is powered from the house batteries.
If house batts are good, have someone switch the boost switch on the dash and check if you are getting 12v across the relay. You should be able to hear the relay click if it's working.
The relay will have 4 terminals. 2 large terminals for the battery connections and 2 smaller terminals to energize the solenoid. With the dash switch closed, you should have 12v across the smaller terminals.
If no voltage across the smaller terminals, check back to the dash switch.
If you have 12v on the solenoid but the relay is not closing, probably gonna need a new relay.
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:17 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by chawkins99 View Post
First off, are the house batteries good? If not, you have no juice to switch the relay. The relay is powered from the house batteries.
If house batts are good, have someone switch the boost switch on the dash and check if you are getting 12v across the relay. You should be able to hear the relay click if it's working.
The relay will have 4 terminals. 2 large terminals for the battery connections and 2 smaller terminals to energize the solenoid. With the dash switch closed, you should have 12v across the smaller terminals.
If no voltage across the smaller terminals, check back to the dash switch.
If you have 12v on the solenoid but the relay is not closing, probably gonna need a new relay.
Another fairly common problem is the contacts within the solenoid are bad. It closes (you can hear the click) but does not connect bats together. You can check this by placing the meter leads on each of the big terminals (you are measuring across the solenoid). Should read some low voltage when de-energized (about 1/2 - 2 volts) and then read zero when energized.
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:33 AM   #4
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First understand how the system works. It's pretty simple to diagnose. You have chassis battery power on one large terminal and coach battery power on the other large one. One small terminal goes to ground and the other small one gets 12V from the dash momentary switch. Power to the switch comes from the coach battery in most cases. Pushing the switch puts 12V to a coil (magnet) that pulls in the relay. That connects the large terminals and combines the coach and chassis batteries. Usually with a solid clunk. If you have a volt meter (Walmart for <$20) you can check for voltage on both large terminals. They will probably be slightly different, but around 12-13 Volts. One small terminal is ground. The other will be 0 Volts and then 12V when the switch is pushed. If all these things are there and the the relay doesn't click with the switch, bad relay. If the relay clicks and the voltages don't equalize at the large terminals, bad relay. If no 12V from the switch, try providing a different power source to the small terminal. CAREFUL, one of the small terminals is grounded. If no power on one or both large terminals, or it is very low, find that problem.
Good luck
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by tompen View Post
First understand how the system works. It's pretty simple to diagnose. You have chassis battery power on one large terminal and coach battery power on the other large one. One small terminal goes to ground and the other small one gets 12V from the dash momentary switch. Power to the switch comes from the coach battery in most cases. Pushing the switch puts 12V to a coil (magnet) that pulls in the relay. That connects the large terminals and combines the coach and chassis batteries. Usually with a solid clunk. If you have a volt meter (Walmart for <$20) you can check for voltage on both large terminals. They will probably be slightly different, but around 12-13 Volts. One small terminal is ground. The other will be 0 Volts and then 12V when the switch is pushed. If all these things are there and the the relay doesn't click with the switch, bad relay. If the relay clicks and the voltages don't equalize at the large terminals, bad relay. If no 12V from the switch, try providing a different power source to the small terminal. CAREFUL, one of the small terminals is grounded. If no power on one or both large terminals, or it is very low, find that problem.
Good luck
This is an excellent over view of the boost relay. There may by one other component in the mix. Many times, there is a circuit board that actually gets the signal from the dash switch and then the circuit board sends 12 VDC to the big relay. The circuit board controller is a higher failure rate item than the relay. This circuit board is in there because many times the big relay is part of the charging circuit so both the coach batteries and the chassis batteries are charged both from the engine alternator and generator or shore power. The circuit board is monitoring a number of inputs to determine when the relay should connect or isolate the batteries.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:25 AM   #6
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This is an excellent over view of the boost relay. There may by one other component in the mix. Many times, there is a circuit board that actually gets the signal from the dash switch and then the circuit board sends 12 VDC to the big relay. The circuit board controller is a higher failure rate item than the relay. This circuit board is in there because many times the big relay is part of the charging circuit so both the coach batteries and the chassis batteries are charged both from the engine alternator and generator or shore power. The circuit board is monitoring a number of inputs to determine when the relay should connect or isolate the batteries.
I'll take your word for it. However, never actually saw that configuration ... typically the Boost switch is a parallel circuit to the Isolator Relay/Solenoid. In today's world there's no need to simplify (parallel circuit) when you can add complexity thru the wonderful world of electronics.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:44 AM   #7
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I had a 12v light left over from another project, so I wired it to the trombetta -- I use a clothes pin to keep the batteries connected for awhile if the chassis are down abit -- Bill Willard
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:47 AM   #8
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I had a 12v light left over from another project, so I wired it to the trombetta -- I use a clothes pin to keep the batteries connected for awhile if the chassis are down abit -- Bill Willard

Aw shucks ... there ya' go killing the stock on some microprocessor manufacturer
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Old 08-29-2013, 12:21 PM   #9
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Steve, I didn't get into the whole BIRD thing because most I have dealt with the boost switch was parallel with the BIRD and not dependent on it.
William, I used a lighted rocker switch on the dash to disable the BIRD system. The result is a light on the switch when the relay is on regardless of how it is powered. Kind of cool.
Bruce, I missed the parallel circuit post. Good catch.
Tom
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