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Old 06-20-2021, 08:36 AM   #29
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I think I'm going to leave my wiring as is and see how it plays out. My Windsor, being a 2002 does not have as may complicated electronics.



I did contact 2 seasoned Monaco owners who installed the Blue Sea ML-ACR and neither ran a wire from the start solenoid.



I wonder how many people actually did do the wiring to isolate the battery banks when starting. AND/OR has anyone lost any electronics it they haven't done the wiring.
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Old 06-20-2021, 09:29 AM   #30
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I'm thinking that my 500lbs of batteries will absorb spikes better than just a two battery system.
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Old 06-20-2021, 11:00 AM   #31
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It's the easiest wire in the project to run. If your house batteries put a huge demand on the alternator at start up you can burn your alternator out at the least. I just took the blue seas techs advice and installed it. Was a 20 minute deal at most.
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Old 06-20-2021, 08:55 PM   #32
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So did you tie into starter pilot solenoid. It's only about two feet wire run from my Bluesea .
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It's the easiest wire in the project to run. If your house batteries put a huge demand on the alternator at start up you can burn your alternator out at the least. I just took the blue seas techs advice and installed it. Was a 20 minute deal at most.
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Old 06-20-2021, 10:32 PM   #33
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So did you tie into starter pilot solenoid. It's only about two feet wire run from my Bluesea .
Start wire on the solenoid.
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Old 06-22-2021, 04:27 PM   #34
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Here is the Blue Sea ML-ACR installed in my passenger side rear run bay. It takes up a little more space then the original Isolation Relay but the the the way he wires were initially installed it was easy to substitue the the ML-ACR. The only issue I had was that they lugs on the new ML-ACR were larger then the Isolation Relay but I simply took a drill/bit and enlarged them.

I left the maintainer in place but it is not getting wired in. I just disconnected the relay wire on the BIRD. Other then having to run a new wire to the front this was a pretty easy install.

I now have ~13.3 volts charging both battery banks. With the maintainer I was not seeing that often and usually the chassis battery would be 12.6 volts.

jacwjames: I'm actually stuck in Oklahoma City right now with a house bank that's not charging, either underway or from the Lambert battery maintainer when plugged in. Looks like both the maintainer and the isolator failed (the exhaust pipe fell off the muffler while I was driving here and cooked that compartment pretty well... fixed that this morning), but it's been a thorn in my side for a while anyway - I'm an electronics engineer, and just hate the idea of losing 0.6V in the charging chain! It's the difference between a fully-charged battery and one that's 50-75% up, and fiddling the regulator to raise the alternator output voltage in order to overcome the drop just doesn't sit right with me.

I've used ACRs on sailboats before (years ago), but I'm completely unfamiliar with this "alternator overload" scenario; all I ever did is wire them in, and they did The Right Thing when the voltage went up. They were fairly plain gadgets back then - a total of 3 terminals, no remote LEDs or anything of the sort.

Can you, or one of the other good folks on this thread, give me a quick synopsis of what I should watch out for when I install one? In other words, is there any reason to NOT just rip out this isolator/maintainer mess, mount/connect the ACR, and drive off into the sunset? I'd appreciate a heads-up if I'm missing anything.
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Old 06-22-2021, 05:23 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by oceansailor View Post

Can you, or one of the other good folks on this thread, give me a quick synopsis of what I should watch out for when I install one? In other words, is there any reason to NOT just rip out this isolator/maintainer mess, mount/connect the ACR, and drive off into the sunset? I'd appreciate a heads-up if I'm missing anything.

I was battling the Lambert maintainer, it didn't seem to be keeping the chassis battery up.


That is basically what I did although I left the maintainer & the BIRD in place, just pulled the wires off them for the time being.

The ML-ACR that I installed had the remote switch that I installed in the dash in place of the Auxiliary Start switch. The is a connection for the house battery and one for the chassis battery which also has the Alternator/start circuit. I removed the old isolator and put the ML-ACR in its place, it was slightly bigger but plenty of slack in the wires to make it work. I connect the ground wire and switch wire that I removed from the Isolator but had to run a 3rd wire to the front.

I've put about 750 miles on the rig and it works as stated and am on the road now and have ~3500 miles left to go on this trip. I hope to hell it works
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Old 06-22-2021, 07:06 PM   #36
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I was battling the Lambert maintainer, it didn't seem to be keeping the chassis battery up.


That is basically what I did although I left the maintainer & the BIRD in place, just pulled the wires off them for the time being.
I've been trying to figure out what a BIRD is (and please don't tell me it's what dropped a glob of bad luck on my electronics from the sky... ) - nope, can't figure it out from the context. Help?

Quote:
The ML-ACR that I installed had the remote switch that I installed in the dash in place of the Auxiliary Start switch. The is a connection for the house battery and one for the chassis battery which also has the Alternator/start circuit. I removed the old isolator and put the ML-ACR in its place, it was slightly bigger but plenty of slack in the wires to make it work. I connect the ground wire and switch wire that I removed from the Isolator but had to run a 3rd wire to the front.
Hmm. My isolator doesn't have a ground wire - just the input from the alternator and the two outputs that get split out to house/chassis - but the Lambert has a wire that runs back to the ground bus. There is also a continuous-duty solenoid that is supposed to parallel the house/battery sets, but as far as I can tell, there's some high resistance between the contacts - so it doesn't work worth a darn either. It sounds like the ACR should replace all of that nonsense including the Lambert. I haven't yet traced where the output of the 110V charger goes (presumably to the house bank), and I can visualize some questionable scenarios - e.g., I plug in external power while the engine is still running, so the charger gets turned on while the alternator is putting out the juice - but I don't think it'll create any problems, since a regulator in either one will shut off due to the circuit voltage already being at 14.4 or whatever.

Hopefully that makes sense... I'm pretty darn good with boats, but RV systems tend to have a lot more stuff hung on them, so I'm a bit worried about dropping a stitch and blowing something out.

Quote:
I've put about 750 miles on the rig and it works as stated and am on the road now and have ~3500 miles left to go on this trip. I hope to hell it works
I suspect that having survived 750 miles is a pretty good testament. If you didn't let out the smoke in the first minute, it's probably going to keep going.
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Old 06-22-2021, 07:24 PM   #37
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What year is your Windsor???
They changed things year after year so yours may be different. I attached parts pages from my coach. It lists the Vendor numbers which you can use and can usually find the part.


In my case here is picture of both rear passenger side compartments.
The isolator is shown the #1 compartment, item #3
The Bird is is shown in #2 compartment, item #7,
The Lambert is in #2 compartment, item #3


All of the above can be scrapped by installing the ML-ACR.



The Lambert is essentially obsolete but they have similar type maintainers. This is what was a problem for me, it would only keep my chassis battery to 12.6. My BIRD and isolation solenoid seemed to working OK but it was overly complicated compared to the ML-ACR.





FYI, in the #1 compartment item #5 is the solenoid that you can shut off at the front steps and cuts out most of the house 12 volt. But this is a energy hog, it is hot as a fire cracker. I may just bypass it. I seldom use it.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 1 Electrical Panel Passenger Sider 1.pdf (78.7 KB, 8 views)
File Type: pdf 1 Electrical Panel Passenger Side 2.pdf (98.6 KB, 8 views)
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Old 06-22-2021, 08:17 PM   #38
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What year is your Windsor???
They changed things year after year so yours may be different. I attached parts pages from my coach. It lists the Vendor numbers which you can use and can usually find the part.
Mine is a 1999. Oddly, all the VIN checker resources list it as a Diplomat - no idea why. Yeah, my panels look quite different... and not just because they got smoked up by that exhaust "leak" I mentioned earlier (as in "unmuffled exhaust pumped into that compartment for the last few hundred miles"; hard to believe, but I couldn't hear any difference from up front.) Surprisingly, all the fuses/Klixons/etc. are still good.

(Reposting images; linking them from Google Photos doesn't seem to work.)




Quote:
In my case here is picture of both rear passenger side compartments.
The isolator is shown the #1 compartment, item #3
The Bird is is shown in #2 compartment, item #7,
The Lambert is in #2 compartment, item #3

All of the above can be scrapped by installing the ML-ACR.

The Lambert is essentially obsolete but they have similar type maintainers. This is what was a problem for me, it would only keep my chassis battery to 12.6. My BIRD and isolation solenoid seemed to working OK but it was overly complicated compared to the ML-ACR.
Sounds like my type of upgrade. Ordering one right now!

Quote:
FYI, in the #1 compartment item #5 is the solenoid that you can shut off at the front steps and cuts out most of the house 12 volt. But this is a energy hog, it is hot as a fire cracker. I may just bypass it. I seldom use it.
I never use mine - and now that you've mentioned it, I recall that thing always being on. Yeah, I don't see it having much of a future with me, either.

Thanks very much, this is all helpful!
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Old 06-23-2021, 08:32 AM   #39
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Yours is definitely different but looks like the change out is doable, might be easier to have to cables made from the disconnects since they are routed across the top of you maintainer.



Good Luck
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Old 06-23-2021, 09:51 AM   #40
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Yours is definitely different but looks like the change out is doable, might be easier to have to cables made from the disconnects since they are routed across the top of you maintainer.

Good Luck
I'm definitely going to give it a shot. My BIRD is inside the coach, right behind the battery/gray water/etc. indicator panel, and I'm not 100% sure how it plays into the picture - it seems to be connected to the generator as well as the key-on switch, so I'm guessing it holds off on paralleling the two banks until the engine or genny get all warmed up and stabilized - but given the way the BlueSea unit operates (time delay plus voltage sensing), I should be able to just cut it out of the loop.

Thanks a ton for your help!
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Old 06-23-2021, 05:28 PM   #41
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Save yourself a lot of diagnostics grief...

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Originally Posted by oceansailor View Post
I'm definitely going to give it a shot. My BIRD is inside the coach, right behind the battery/gray water/etc. indicator panel, and I'm not 100% sure how it plays into the picture - it seems to be connected to the generator as well as the key-on switch, so I'm guessing it holds off on paralleling the two banks until the engine or genny get all warmed up and stabilized - but given the way the BlueSea unit operates (time delay plus voltage sensing), I should be able to just cut it out of the loop.

Thanks a ton for your help!
As far as I know, the first installation of an ML-ACR on a motor home was by pwhittle (Paul Whittle) who is a very capable electric/electronic/mechanical fellow who is very successfully self-employed as a software engineer for POS (NO, it's "Point Of Sale"--credit card--terminals). He convinced me to make the change on my 2000 Dynasty with "Battery Boost" contactor, SSI (solid state isolator), and Lambert charger (charges chassis battery when on external 50A supply) to a simple, easy to understand, and easy to diagnose single component. It's a fantastic upgrade...right up there with residential fridges.

I have no PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with BIRD systems, but given their complexity, failure rate, expense of individual replacement components, and difficulty in diagnosing problems, "upgrading" to a one-component, "guaranteed as long as you own it", inexpensive (about $200), system that DOES NOT require a DUVAC alternator is a no-brainer. As Paul often comments, the ML-ACR does only ONE thing--it either CONNECTS both battery banks to ANY available charging source (alternator, genny, inverter-charger)...or if NO charging source is available (not plugged in to a pedestal, genny not running, engine not running), it DISCONNECTS the chassis battery, preserving its charge.

That's about as simple as it gets. And even if you choose NOT to install the remote control switch in place of your Battery Boost switch (bad choice) the ML-ACR still allows you a choice between full manual or automatic control of its functions and even offers you VISUAL confirmation of which state it is in (house and chassis battery banks connected or NOT).

I did this upgrade a few years ago, along with a Denso gear-reduction starter before embarking on a NC to AK trip that spanned four months and 10,000+ miles. Although I never did the "battery isolation during engine starting" connection on the ML-ACR, I have experienced no "ancillary electronic component damage". Before this pair of upgrades, I always held my breath when attempting to start my ISC-350 in very cold weather. It always seemed to spin over sooo slowly. Now, when I start it on a sub-freezing morning (after being plugged into a pedestal overnight), it spins over like a small Honda and will start without even waiting for the Grid Heaters). That is because both the Chassis and House battery banks are connected together (essentially holding the BATTERY BOOST switch down) until a short time delay after the charging voltage from the pedestal has been replaced by the output of the alternator.

I hope I have made this easy to understand.

This "upgrade" seems to be one of those rare ones where there is no "compromise". The ML-ACR is better in every single aspect, IMHO.
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Old 06-23-2021, 07:54 PM   #42
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Windsor owners Blue Sea ML-ACR install, I need spare wires front and back

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As far as I know, the first installation of an ML-ACR on a motor home was by pwhittle (Paul Whittle)

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.
.


This "upgrade" seems to be one of those rare ones where there is no "compromise". The ML-ACR is better in every single aspect, IMHO.


Van,

I got the idea from someone here on IRV2. I saw a post, researched, and agreed with the poster.

I have put them on two of our motor homes, and installed a couple of others.

Not a single issue in any of the installations since.

Paul
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