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Old 09-26-2022, 03:07 AM   #1
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Monaco Battery combiner

Hello from Dan.
another sleepless night, so project time.
I noticed our Monaco LaPalms XL electrical system had an awful wine in it. My guess is it interfered with the j1939 network.. with my handy dandy sniffer I tracked it to the mother board. on the mother board it has a sub board that controls the battery combiner. This had been unplugged and set aside. and another unit (after mkt ) was remote mounted. I found this device to be introducing a huge amount of switching noise into the system throughout the coach.. it was in the radio, my ham radios and cb, anything electronic. it's a wonder it didn't crash the ECU, or TCM...
it uses a huge battery isolator relay that is NOT continuous duty, so the controller switches it on and off hundreds of times a second. Thus making only 50% duty cycle. ( while actually operating 100%.) needless to say,it's out.
I replaced the relay with a 100% duty cycle Westing house relay, and changed out the controller to an adjustable one. ( images submited here for your approval )
The OEM controller has either 3 wires into the plug, or 5 wires 3 to plug, and one to each house and chassis battery. so fining out that part, 3 or 5 wire is obsolete and no longer available. fine. ebay here I come. I found the little WX-100 contoller. a couple of diodes, ( or not ) and it's a viable replacement that is wide range adjustable. delay, and more.. works great. while my relay is de-rated from 200 cont and 1200 int 30 seconds, to about 60-90 amps cont to 300 amps for 30 seconds I hope to not ever need it.
I hope this will help anyone else having charging issues.
Dan.
remember this has to go through the mother board, (the 3 wire plug ) as the mother board controls the generator lockout. IF the gen set is is running, the converter is charging the house batteries and the generator is charging the chassis battery. and I believe it said it would make the gen set very unhappy ( brake stuff) if the lockout was not employed.

link for video..
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Old 09-26-2022, 10:45 AM   #2
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Thanks for posting, my scangauge has always had intermittent comms with my ecm, Im gonna disable the solenoid for a bit and see what happens. I thought it was most likely a terminating resistor going bad but canít find them.
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Old 09-26-2022, 11:35 PM   #3
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the issue was NOT the relay, but the relay controller.
If you have a different controller, it's prolly not the problem. If you have the same controller, yup, unplug it..
Often if the relay is intermittent, the pull in coil in the relay is failing or bad ground etc. class A the ckt see if that helps.
Best of luck.
Dan.
1st image is the noisy one.
2ed image is a viable replacement.
super easy to install. no adjustment for connect or disconnect.
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Old 09-27-2022, 10:53 PM   #4
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Ah thanks for the clarification, I do have the bird and my solenoid is new and works fine.

I assumed it was the square waves on the solenoid circuit causing the interference not the controller..
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Old 09-28-2022, 05:07 AM   #5
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it could be the solenoid act like a big antenna...
on the bench I connected the controller, but it wasn't until I connected the solenoid that it became physically audible.
crazy. you would think that much hash generated they would have made an attempt to mitigate the issue.
I'm surprised it wasn't causing issues in the j1939 network, the ECM and TCM.. i actually bought a second controller thinking mine might be broken. nope. second one just as noisy as the first. I even tried adding a capacitor across the solenoid, that did quiet it down somewhat, but I think that defeats the square wave making it saw tooth and the solenoid would be continuously powered on defeating the 50% power scheme... it wasn't until I contacted the factory rep that i was informed of the mode of operation. ie: the high speed switching FET...
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Old 09-28-2022, 05:48 AM   #6
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this would also be a viable,
much less complex option.
retro-fit for existing system, upgrade providing bi-directional charging..
low cost.
ease of implementation.
Note: the diodes would raise the control 'on' voltage by 0.36,
13.3 becomes 13.66, raise the disconnect 'off' voltage from 12.0 to 12.36. meaning slightly higher Voltages to make or break. This is a good thing. I installed an indicator LED to monitor my relay. in my opinion it is good to drop out at a slightly higher voltage then set by controller mfg.
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Old 09-28-2022, 06:22 AM   #7
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Most of us have switched to the blue seas ACR. It eliminates all that stuff. Gives you automatic and manual control at the dash. Also a manual knob at the relay. https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Sea-Syst...a-434132500260. There are a few threads on here about them.
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Old 09-28-2022, 12:24 PM   #8
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Yup,
Replaced my BIRD, Isolation Relay, and Lambert 425 maintainer with the Bluesea MLACR.

Automatic connects whenever there is a charging source (shore, generator, alternator). There is a knob/lever on top that you can use or I also installed a switch on the dash that I can use to switch OFF or ON. It is lighted so you can tell what position it is in.

~$175, once installed you can forget about it.
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Old 09-28-2022, 12:27 PM   #9
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Agree with above its a latching relay so very little power draw ,with lifetime warranty. It even has a bit of diognostic , the switch light flashes code like if I have my chassis manual disconnect off. I think there's a couple more codes.
If I was ready to convert to lifepo4 I may have went another way as charging from alternator is a no go over 100ah batt.
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Old 09-28-2022, 12:40 PM   #10
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I'm glad "kb7uxe" posted this solution, and the Blue Sea proponents have chimed in. I want to add that a replacement BIRD daughtercard from Reliance CM is available. It attaches to the Front Distribution Panel in the upper left, just like the original daughtercard. Here's a post that gives the contact and ordering info for them. There are links to two tech documents there, too.
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Old 09-28-2022, 07:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
Yup,
Replaced my BIRD, Isolation Relay, and Lambert 425 maintainer with the Bluesea MLACR.

Automatic connects whenever there is a charging source (shore, generator, alternator). There is a knob/lever on top that you can use or I also installed a switch on the dash that I can use to switch OFF or ON. It is lighted so you can tell what position it is in.

~$175, once installed you can forget about it.
Completely agree with installing the Blue Sea ACR. It really is an install and forget about it. It just works!

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