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Old 07-02-2022, 04:18 PM   #1
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What Big Boy Isolator Relay replaced

Hi guys,

This may end up being a long saga but here is a short question for now.

On page 353 in the Monaco 2003 Signature manual, it states that the rear updated panel combined the two panels (low and high current) And that the battery isolator, boost solenoid and battery maintainer were combined by using one solenoid.

Are they talking about the Big Boy?

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I had 3 100ah lithium batteries installed, I m about loosing it because the shop didn't know what a BIRD is. Now I know why the generator didn't start the other day.

My chassis batteries are always down to 12.5 .6 in the morning. have no clue what is dragging them down. Its been like that for years.

Also experiencing a brown out through out coach dc lights.

And they had my high draw AC loads, oven and a/c running through the batteries instead of the shore power and ac generator. So we got some fixing to do this week.

to be continued. you guys are the best.

moira
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Old 07-02-2022, 04:33 PM   #2
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Yes, the big boy replaced the 3 items used in the older models. That and the BIRD controller handle bi-directional charging.

With lithium batteries it's typically disabled so not to over charge the chassis batteries with the Lithium higher volts.
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Old 07-02-2022, 05:08 PM   #3
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Link to a thread by PWhittle replacing the Intellitec Big Boy isolation relay with the Blue Sea ML-ACR. This gives you control over when to combine the battery systems.
Some good here.
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/rep...cr-468617.html
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Old 07-02-2022, 07:48 PM   #4
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Thank you guys, unfortunately I am not in a position to replace the big boy at this time.

I am just trying to get back the capabilities I had before. I have a brown out, loads on the chassis batteries which is causing problems starting the gen and engine (so I need the battery boost and high ac loads they got sucking out of my lithiums instead of shore power and generator.

I have also found today that the radio that pops out of the dash is not powered. On an old schematic someone told me that its powered from a 80 amp thing in the rear run for the 2004 model. Mine does not have that 80 amp thing. So they unpowered something back there.

If you see the 2 finger smudges I made, that's where they disconnected wires and put in a fuse and a dc to dc charger

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Old 07-02-2022, 08:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moira View Post
Hi guys,

This may end up being a long saga but here is a short question for now.

On page 353 in the Monaco 2003 Signature manual, it states that the rear updated panel combined the two panels (low and high current) And that the battery isolator, boost solenoid and battery maintainer were combined by using one solenoid.

Are they talking about the Big Boy?

Attachment 369933

I had 3 100ah lithium batteries installed, I m about loosing it because the shop didn't know what a BIRD is. Now I know why the generator didn't start the other day.

My chassis batteries are always down to 12.5 .6 in the morning. have no clue what is dragging them down. Its been like that for years.

Also experiencing a brown out through out coach dc lights.

And they had my high draw AC loads, oven and a/c running through the batteries instead of the shore power and ac generator. So we got some fixing to do this week.

to be continued. you guys are the best.

moira

Hmmmm ...so your saying in the above statement that 12.6 - 12.5 vdc is discharged 12vdc battery?

If so ?.....That is tot true. A fully charged 12vdc battery is 12.6 vdc once the surface charge removed.

Im lost as to what your saying.

Perhaps I missed something.: confused:
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Old 07-02-2022, 08:45 PM   #6
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Yes I was saying that in the morning my chassis batteries are always a little weak cause I got some parasitic draws on them that I dont know where they are coming from. Thats been going on forever. So I really do need the battery boost to sometimes start the engine or the generator. People always say to disconnect the BIRD and if I do I'll lose the battery boost and the battery maintainer.

I always thought that 12.8 was full.
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Old 07-03-2022, 05:54 AM   #7
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12.8 is full but that is with no load. The surface charge as mentioned will drop quickly with any kind of a load. Your steps may be wired and drawing a bit but in any case there are all kinds of parasitic loads that could be adding up over time.

My manual says that the battery disconnect switch should be off for any lenght of time over three days or so.

If you have shoreline and are charging the house batteries and the DC to DC charger is working you should see better voltage than 12.6 all the time on the engine batteries.

The DC to DC converter may be adjustable or perhaps not up to the task. More information on it would be nice.

As for the emergency start function. Since the Bird is likely compromised by accident or intentionally you should still be able to make the function easily.

Put a voltmeter on the small terminals of the large solenoid in question. If you do not see voltage on one of the terminals it is not engaged which is what I would expect.

Pushing your emergency start button should show voltage on one of the small terminals along with hearing a clunk.

If you hear the clunk and find voltage on one of the small terminals while the emergency start button is pressed you should see the voltage on each large terminal to be equal. If you see any major difference of even 1/2 of a volt your contacts are in need of repair.

If you do not see the control signal on the small terminal then you need to identify where the old "bird" device/wiring is. The wires should still be about, perhaps taped up or just left on the device to hold them. It would be easy from there to connect the switch wire to the terminal on the solenoid that needs the voltage to engage.
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Old 07-03-2022, 06:41 PM   #8
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I dont know what those 2 solenoids are in the second picture, but I know they have something to do with the BIRD circuit board.

Anyway when I turn on the house battery disconnect sw in the battery compartment, the one on the top doesn't click or clunk. Yes those are official terms.

heeeeeeeelp meeeeeeeee.
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Old 07-03-2022, 07:13 PM   #9
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If you have shoreline and are charging the house batteries and the DC to DC charger is working you should see better voltage than 12.6 all the time on the engine batteries.


.
The Battery to Battery charger has nothing to do with house battey charging on shore power.
It's not bi-directional and is only to control alternator output to the house batteries while the engine is running.
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Old 07-03-2022, 07:17 PM   #10
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If you want to keep your chassis battery up, pick up a small 120 volt charger and wire it to the chassis battery.

With that, your batteries won't run down and you won't need the boost.

The two solenoids in the second picture are latching type and are your house battery disconnect solenoids. They work from the switch near the door. They only need to be switched off if stored without shore power.
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Old 07-03-2022, 07:45 PM   #11
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Thank you twinboat, yc1 I didn't see your post, I am trying to figure that out.

The problem is when I'm boondocking, I don't have any place to plug in a battery maintainer. It would be impractical to run a wire out my bedroom window down to the batt compartment. I can't leave it open when I'm away.

I'm afraid I went down a rabbit hole on that second pic. I discovered my dash radio (alladin) is inop and the viper too.
Could be just a coincidence but I thought it may have something to do with those 2 solenoids.

But do you know that running shore power and ac Gen power through the converter, then Batts, then inverter is proper? Why would anyone do that?
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Old 07-04-2022, 10:40 AM   #12
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Thanks for clarifying the dc to dc thing for me Twinboat.

When boondocking you need to shut off the engine batteries so there is no load on them. Running them down and relying on the coach batteries to start is not a great idea.

I did not see your pictures when I posted my last part.

To help sort your issue a few voltage readings would be helpful. I believe you have a couple of issues.

Before going into that I agree you need a separate charger for the engine batteries to keep them up when you have a shoreline or generator.

Assuming any IRD or BIRD device is nonfunctional let's move forward and gather some information.

Your "brown out" is likely a sick solenoid or connection. IF you can duplicate the problem by turning on a lot of lights etc, take some voltage readings on the smaller solenoids in the picture. If you see 12.5 (example only), on one side of the large connections you should see the same on the other. If there is lower voltage the solenoid is not making proper contact. A hard rap with the handle of a screwdriver may show the voltage jump back up. Don't just start banging around though. Getting voltage measurements is critical.

If you see the same voltage on the large terminals then you can assume it is ok for the moment and need to move to wherever the wires lead you. IF you find a lower voltage on any of the wires you need to disconnect batteries and be sure there is no voltage showing and take things apart for a good cleaning.

The pictures indicate to me there is some serious maintenance needed on the cables and connections. A Dremel tool with a sanding drum works great on the ends of cables. In any case at 12 volts, things need to be shiny and bright. Twelve volts has very little push and cannot get through loose or dirty connections.

While taking cables off, note how tight the connections are. It is very easy to have a connection become intermittent when loose.

-------------------------------------------------

Second part: Your aux start function needs to be tested.

That Big Boy solenoid that has the small green wire attached needs the same voltage readings.

If you do not have 12 volts on the little terminal, try propping your emergency start button or have someone toggle it for you. You should hear a clunk and see your house battery voltage on each side of the large terminals.

While the button is pressed take a voltage reading on the green wire. Hopefully you will see it come and go.

Do these tests without shoreline or generator running.

If you do not see any voltage coming from the aux start button you need to look for a fuse that supplies it, or even get to the switch to see if there is voltage getting to it.

Once you get this far things should really be coming together for understanding your current setup.

A quick test of the Big Boy if you are not getting voltage to it, is to supply your own voltage. You can put a small fuse inline with a jumper and tourch the green wire connection.

IF I am mistaken about the green wire being the control voltage wire versus being a ground control wire folks here will quickly correct me. I cannot see your other small terminal so am assuming and that can make me look a bit dumb. Oh well, so be it. With a fuse in the jumper wire (5 amps), you won't get into much trouble.

When the Big Boy clunks it may startle you and be sure you are not touching the wires of the temporary jumper. The initial connection can cause a small shock and removing your hands from the area can be paiful.
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Old 07-04-2022, 08:20 PM   #13
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YC1,

I gotta think about all that. Im not that good with a multimeter but I think to check the voltage across the big boy and the like, I would put the red probe on the big terminals and the black probe somewhere else to ground. Not on the other large terminal. That would be jumping across.

The goal here would be to disable the BIRD. The shop guy said he bypassed the Big Boy. The second pic which is upside down shows how they bypassed it.
But the BIRD is still connected to the Big Boy with the green wires. So that's not going to work.

I am going to take those readings tomorrow. Thank you so much and especially for the patience.
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Old 07-04-2022, 10:03 PM   #14
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YC1,

I gotta think about all that. Im not that good with a multimeter but I think to check the voltage across the big boy and the like, I would put the red probe on the big terminals and the black probe somewhere else to ground. Not on the other large terminal. Correct. That would be jumping across.

The goal here would be to disable the BIRD. The shop guy said he bypassed the Big Boy. The second pic which is upside down shows how they bypassed it. I need to take a look at that. Not sure how they "bypassed it".
But the BIRD is still connected to the Big Boy with the green wires. They may have the aux start function still passing through the old Bird/IRD for simplicity.So that's not going to work.

I am going to take those readings tomorrow. Thank you so much and especially for the patience.
Take your time. No rush here. I will study the pictures closer. The term the tech used "bypassing" the Big Boy can mean a couple of things.

The Big Boy still needs to be part of the system for emergency starting.
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