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Old 06-26-2019, 07:43 PM   #1
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THOR #10044
2017 Axis/Vegas electrical issues advice

Hi to all,
Does anyone know if the generator "start" is wired to get it's electrical source from the house batteries or the chassis battery? My chassis battery went dead while on a trip last week. House batteries were fine but the start buttons for the generator were all "dead". After the chassis battery was charged the buttons started the generator just fine. I would have thought the chassis batteries would start the gen.

Also, regarding the "bird" relay. I was plugged into 110 shore power all week and yet the chassis battery went dead. The battery is good and came back to full charge after jumping it and driving home. Emergency start button seemed dead as well. I assume the house batteries did charge during that time since everything worked fine. Is it possible the "bird" allowed the house batteries to charge but not the chassis battery?
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:01 PM   #2
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I thought that chassis and House batteries are all inter-connected for charging purposes.
And, if the House batteries die, then you can start the generator using the "Emergency Start" button on the dash from the chassis battery
or
If the Chassis battery dies, you can use the "Emergency Start" button on the dash to start the V10 engine.

FORUM team...please correct me if I'm wrong
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:06 PM   #3
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That is what the BIRD is supposed to do--connect up the house and chassis systems once everything comes up to "speed" er voltage.

In my Axis (2014 mind you, no BIRD but a BCC) the generator operates from the house battery(ies). In addition, if one system's battery(ies) are completely dead then the "jump" switch will do nothing.
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Old 06-26-2019, 09:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by slomarsh View Post
Hi to all,
Does anyone know if the generator "start" is wired to get it's electrical source from the house batteries or the chassis battery? My chassis battery went dead while on a trip last week. House batteries were fine but the start buttons for the generator were all "dead". After the chassis battery was charged the buttons started the generator just fine. I would have thought the chassis batteries would start the gen.

Also, regarding the "bird" relay. I was plugged into 110 shore power all week and yet the chassis battery went dead. The battery is good and came back to full charge after jumping it and driving home. Emergency start button seemed dead as well. I assume the house batteries did charge during that time since everything worked fine. Is it possible the "bird" allowed the house batteries to charge but not the chassis battery?
The BIRD and Trombetta in many Axis are supposed to charge both ways. However, my 2016 was miswired at the factory and the house batteries did not charge from the alternator. I had to rewrire my system for it to work. Easy way for you to check your system is to check the voltage at the two terminals of the Trombetta. If the engine is running or the coach is on shore power or the generator is running, the voltage should be the same at both Trombetta terminals - i.e. both battery systems are being charged as they should. If the voltage is not the same either with the engine running or on shore power/generator then something is wrong. Check and let me know. How I fixed mine is in a thread back in 2016. Search BIRD or Trombetta and you might find it.

The generator is wired to the house batteries.
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Old 06-26-2019, 09:35 PM   #5
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Thanks for all your replies Much appreciated

So are the trombetta and the bird one and the same? Sorry for my ignorance.
Location of trombetta if it is different? I understand the bird is in the engine compartment.

I'm quite sure all batteries charge while driving. I replaced the original house batteries a month ago. Originals were toast (sulphated and using excessive water)


Right now, at home, I am letting the house batteries deplete a bit. Then I'll connect 110V and be sure they charge up ok. Ditto the chassis battery.


Glad to know it is normal for the gen to start with the chassis battery.

When in storage I disconnect the house batteries now and use a cut of switch for the chassis battery. Have had no problems with drainage since.
Just don't understand why the chassis battery went dead (engine solenoid clicked only) while plugged in to 110V. That had never happened before.
BTW: Store/use switch was on.
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:19 PM   #6
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In my 2915 Vegas, under the hood, that thing with the two big red connections is the Trombetta. By the way, Trombetta is the manufacturer's name -- it is the isolation relay. Just to the right of the Trombetta you can see a rectangular box with upside down white writing. If you enlarge the pix you will see that the writing says it is the BIRD.

I have also included a file that describes how this system works and shows a wiring diagram of the BIRD, isolation relay (Trombetta), and disconnect relays.
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:34 PM   #7
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While you are charging on shore power, check the voltage of the chassis battery. It should be the same as the house or between 13.1 and 14.1 V depending on the charge state of the batteries.
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Old 06-26-2019, 11:34 PM   #8
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Trombetta Inc. is a manufacture of electrical equipment. BIRD is an abbreviation for Bi-directional Isolater Relay Delay (a computer of sorts). Both Trombetta and Intellitec make BIRD devices to control relays. Finally the relays in question are known as battery disconnect relays. That means that 12 volt power must be applied continually for the relay to pass current. This type of relay's normal state is disconnected.



Hope this helps.
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Old 06-27-2019, 12:50 AM   #9
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Normal unless the engine is running or the coach is on shore power or generator, then the relay is closed and the batteries connected. As soon as the BIRD senses 13.1V on the chassis battery - if the engine is running or 13.1V on the coach batteries - if on shore power or generator, it opens the Trombetta and connects the chassis and coach batteries. They stay connected until the BIRD senses below 12.8 V and then it disconnects the chassis and coach batteries. When I got my 2016 Axis, the sensing wire that was supposed to be connected to the coach batteries was connected to somewhere else - I never figured out where. So the BIRD never sensed the coach batteries charging above 13.1V when on shore power or generator and never opened the Trombetta to charge the chassis battery. I fixed it by cutting the coach battery sensing wire from the BIRD and connecting it to the coach battery side of the Trombetta. Everything has worked fine since.
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Old 06-27-2019, 01:49 AM   #10
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The generator is wired to the house batteries.
Not really the generator is tied directly to the automatic transfer switch (ATS). It is a relay that keeps the shore line from becoming hot when the generator is running. The ATS is connected to the power center and supplies to the whole coach including the house batteries assuming the store/use switch or master power switch is in the use/on position.
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Old 06-27-2019, 02:18 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Beau388 View Post
Not really the generator is tied directly to the automatic transfer switch (ATS). It is a relay that keeps the shore line from becoming hot when the generator is running. The ATS is connected to the power center and supplies to the whole coach including the house batteries assuming the store/use switch or master power switch is in the use/on position.
Actually I believe he was pointing out that the generator uses the house battery for starting.
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Old 06-27-2019, 03:09 AM   #12
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My 2017 uses a BIMM. Location is open grill on right side next to fuse box. My emergency start switch has never worked probably mis wired @ BIMM.
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Old 06-27-2019, 03:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Beau388 View Post
Not really the generator is tied directly to the automatic transfer switch (ATS). It is a relay that keeps the shore line from becoming hot when the generator is running. The ATS is connected to the power center and supplies to the whole coach including the house batteries assuming the store/use switch or master power switch is in the use/on position.
We're talking DC starting power here, not AC output power.
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Old 06-27-2019, 01:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beau388 View Post
Not really the generator is tied directly to the automatic transfer switch (ATS). It is a relay that keeps the shore line from becoming hot when the generator is running. The ATS is connected to the power center and supplies to the whole coach including the house batteries assuming the store/use switch or master power switch is in the use/on position.
True and the line from the ATS goes to the crappy converter/charger (a whole another issue) neither of which have anything to do with the original problem.
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Old 06-27-2019, 03:13 PM   #15
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Thanks so much.

Excellent input from all of you. I thank you for your ideas. Now, time to figure it all out.
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Old 06-27-2019, 03:39 PM   #16
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We're talking DC starting power here, not AC output power.
To me the generator puts out AC power. A engine starter takes DC power. Just semantics, I guess.
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Old 06-27-2019, 04:26 PM   #17
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To me the generator puts out AC power.
It does

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beau388 View Post
A engine starter takes DC power.
It does

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beau388 View Post
Just semantics, I guess.
"I don't think so, Lucy"

Quote:
Originally Posted by slomarsh View Post
Hi to all,
Does anyone know if the generator "start" is wired to get it's electrical source from the house batteries or the chassis battery?
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:23 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Actually I believe he was pointing out that the generator uses the house battery for starting.
I figured that out for sure this week when I had my house battery issue. At 3.x volts, the generator was completely useless. Couldn't even prime it.

My question is (since I didn't think to try it): I know that I have an emergency start switch which will allow me to start the coach from the house battery; would this switch also have worked the other direction, allowing me to start the generator from the fully charged chassis battery? Would be interesting to know, if I ever get into this spot again.
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Old 07-07-2019, 11:54 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by TimmyB View Post
I figured that out for sure this week when I had my house battery issue. At 3.x volts, the generator was completely useless. Couldn't even prime it.

My question is (since I didn't think to try it): I know that I have an emergency start switch which will allow me to start the coach from the house battery; would this switch also have worked the other direction, allowing me to start the generator from the fully charged chassis battery? Would be interesting to know, if I ever get into this spot again.
It may. The emergence start switch opens up a connection between the coach and chassis batteries and the current flows from the higher voltage batteries to the lower. If the coach batteries are way down, you may degrade your chassis battery so that nothing starts. A better plan is to start your engine and let it charge all three batteries with its 80 amp alternator and then start your generator. One thing to remember is that when you use the emergency start switch it does not immediately charge the depleted batteries. It takes some time for the charge to transfer.
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:22 AM   #20
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It may. The emergence start switch opens up a connection between the coach and chassis batteries and the current flows from the higher voltage batteries to the lower. If the coach batteries are way down, you may degrade your chassis battery so that nothing starts. A better plan is to start your engine and let it charge all three batteries with its 80 amp alternator and then start your generator. One thing to remember is that when you use the emergency start switch it does not immediately charge the depleted batteries. It takes some time for the charge to transfer.
Unfortunately, the batteries weren't charging. Not under engine power, not under SP, and with no generator, not that either. The ONLY thing that worked was the old-fashioned battery charger, plugged into AC. Once that got it charged up, everything worked as it should and the batteries are still above 12.5 after sitting with nothing on them for 48 hours.
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