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Old 03-12-2016, 05:16 AM   #21
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THOR #1759
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There is a very quick way to test the charging system. Disconnect the engine battery and then see if the headlights still work. The bi-directional relay is nothing more then a simple two-pole, double throw relay rated for the expected load currents. It is nothing really special.
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Old 03-12-2016, 01:11 PM   #22
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I have been having a charging issue for some time and was not familiar with the bird as my previous coaches used different systems or did not charge the chassis battery except when engine was running. So I installed the Amp-L-Start to keep the chassis batteries charged as I did in previous coaches.
However, in two instances I have had the genset start (AGS was on) late in the day when we have been traveling all day. Charging voltage should have prevented that.
So for the last several weeks I have been researching the issue. I took a less direct route then Ed, but came up with pretty much same info. The only thing I would add is that based on info on another forum (and from my experience) the bird seldom fails - never heard of one failing - but the Trombetta solenoid that, at the birds command, redirects the charging voltage frequently fails. The OEM Trombetta (114-1211-010) has copper contacts, a replacement (last 3 digits are -020) has silver contacts and lasts much longer. You can order a replacement Trombetta on Amazon for about $45.
It appears my Trombetta was sticking. The other day I tapped it (a repair technique I learned as a kid) and the next day the coach battery was charged as we drove. We are now camped for a while and both batteries are being charged as needed. I will probably remove the Amp-L-Start, it is redundant and only charges the chassis battery while the bird takes care of both. I am ordering a new silver contact Trombetta and will install it before we hit the road again.
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Old 03-12-2016, 01:17 PM   #23
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And, Ed thanx for the PDF. To double check my findings so far I will run the troubleshooting guide in the PDF and will save it for future reference.
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Old 03-12-2016, 01:27 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by ournextstop View Post
I have been having a charging issue for some time and was not familiar with the bird as my previous coaches used different systems or did not charge the chassis battery except when engine was running. So I installed the Amp-L-Start to keep the chassis batteries charged as I did in previous coaches.
However, in two instances I have had the genset start (AGS was on) late in the day when we have been traveling all day. Charging voltage should have prevented that.
So for the last several weeks I have been researching the issue. I took a less direct route then Ed, but came up with pretty much same info. The only thing I would add is that based on info on another forum (and from my experience) the bird seldom fails - never heard of one failing - but the Trombetta solenoid that, at the birds command, redirects the charging voltage frequently fails. The OEM Trombetta (114-1211-010) has copper contacts, a replacement (last 3 digits are -020) has silver contacts and lasts much longer. You can order a replacement Trombetta on Amazon for about $45.
It appears my Trombetta was sticking. The other day I tapped it (a repair technique I learned as a kid) and the next day the coach battery was charged as we drove. We are now camped for a while and both batteries are being charged as needed. I will probably remove the Amp-L-Start, it is redundant and only charges the chassis battery while the bird takes care of both. I am ordering a new silver contact Trombetta and will install it before we hit the road again.
Interesting... Can you tell us where the Trombetta is located and what it looks like? Maybe a picture of where it is? Thanks for the post.
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Old 03-12-2016, 01:32 PM   #25
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In my case the Trombetta is about a foot from the bird in the outside electrical compartment. I have read of it being behind the electrical control panel and other coaches and hard to access. It looks like a starter solenoid and, at least in my coach the label is easy to see and read. I will try and get a picture and post it. That will be a learning experience for me as I have not posted one here before!
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Old 03-12-2016, 01:35 PM   #26
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In my case the Trombetta is about a foot from the bird in the outside electrical compartment. I have read of it being behind the electrical control panel and other coaches and hard to access. It looks like a starter solenoid and, at least in my coach the label is easy to see and read. I will try and get a picture and post it. That will be a learning experience for me as I have not posted one here before!
Thanks.
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Old 03-12-2016, 01:47 PM   #27
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Another good data sheet and explanation on the BIRD.
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Old 03-12-2016, 01:49 PM   #28
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This is how it is wired.
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Old 03-12-2016, 04:12 PM   #29
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Thanks for the post Ed! The behaviors I've observed from my Axis during the last year made me think all 3 sources charged both battery banks. Nice to have a bit of confirmation.
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Old 03-12-2016, 06:18 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by ournextstop View Post
In my case the Trombetta is about a foot from the bird in the outside electrical compartment. I have read of it being behind the electrical control panel and other coaches and hard to access. It looks like a starter solenoid and, at least in my coach the label is easy to see and read. I will try and get a picture and post it. That will be a learning experience for me as I have not posted one here before!
Hey ournextstop, have you seen the thread at http://www.thorforums.com/forums/f8/...-new-post.html. Maybe your research on BIRD and Trombetta could shed some light on this issue?
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Old 03-20-2016, 07:52 PM   #31
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Thank you sir,good info!
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:06 AM   #32
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I just discovered this thread after direction from other members. I found some very helpful information. Thanks for starting this valuable thread.

I am beginning to think that adding a small console somewhere in the cockpit, that would hold two voltmeters (one for each set of batteries) might be a very good idea. A quick glance would show what is charging and what is not. When stopped, it would be a good indicator of battery charge level.

Ken
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Old 07-20-2016, 01:53 PM   #33
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Nice Q&A unfortunately for us, our 2016, 24.1 doesn't work this way. Only thing that charges the chassis battery is the alternator.
So either something is broke or like our dash A/C not wired right.
Something else to check into this winter.
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Old 07-20-2016, 02:09 PM   #34
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Nice Q&A unfortunately for us, our 2016, 24.1 doesn't work this way. Only thing that charges the chassis battery is the alternator.
So either something is broke or like our dash A/C not wired right.
Something else to check into this winter.
Go back and read this thread

http://www.thorforums.com/forums/f8/...-1-a-3150.html

And if you have Ed's manual, read the parts on the BIRD and Trombetta and battery charging. If you do not have Ed's manual, you have to ask him for it. It will save you lots of time and effort.

My 2016 Axis did not charge the chassis battery while on shore power. It took me several weeks to figure it out, but if you read the thread, you will see that it is easy to see if the system is wired correctly and easy to fix, if it is not. You just need to cut and reroute one wire which is easily accessible from the front hood.

If you have a volt meter, you can do it yourself.
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Old 07-20-2016, 02:13 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Ag&Au View Post
I just discovered this thread after direction from other members. I found some very helpful information. Thanks for starting this valuable thread.

I am beginning to think that adding a small console somewhere in the cockpit, that would hold two voltmeters (one for each set of batteries) might be a very good idea. A quick glance would show what is charging and what is not. When stopped, it would be a good indicator of battery charge level.

Ken
I mounted a volt meter for the house batteries in the cabinet above the sink. It is very helpful.
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:20 PM   #36
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Quick question that may have already been answered and I missed it. With the BIRD in place, is it possible to over charge the batteries while driving down the road?
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:48 PM   #37
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No. The regulator steps down the voltage to a maintenance charge when the batteries area fully charged. As long as it is working correctly, your batteries will not be "over charged". It is always a good idea to periodically check the water levels in your batteries. Over time they will lose water.
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Old 07-20-2016, 11:50 PM   #38
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Scrub -- you need to get yours checked because something is not working correctly (probably the Trombetta for the chassis battery).

The RV has two sources of power to charge chassis and coach batteries -- engine driven alternator (when driving down the road) and the charging circuit of the converter (when connected to shore power or when the generator is running).

The BIRD work in conjunction with two Trombrettas (one for chassis battery, one for coach batteries). The BIRD basically monitors both battery banks and when the voltage drops indicating one of the banks needs charging, it signals the corresponding Trombretta to close sending charging voltage to the battery bank needing charging. When the battery bank is fully charged, the Bird will signal the Trombretta to open and isolates the battery so it doesn't overcharge.

The converter's charging circuit should provide trickle charging to the chassis battery when you are on shore or generator power. The BIRD would detect when the chassis battery voltage is below fully charged, then it signals the Chassis battery Trombretta to close sending power from the converter to the chassis battery to top off its charge.

There have been several folks on the forum find out that their Trombrettas were not wired correctly. In essence, the house and chassis batteries should be receiving charging voltage from wither the converter or the engine driven alternator depending on need.

This interlay of charging voltage sources, BIRD, and Trombrettas is why I called this thread "What Charges the House and Chassis Batteries When." when I first posted it.
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Old 07-21-2016, 02:45 AM   #39
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....cut....

The BIRD work in conjunction with two Trombrettas (one for chassis battery, one for coach batteries). The BIRD basically monitors both battery banks and when the voltage drops indicating one of the banks needs charging, it signals the corresponding Trombretta to close sending charging voltage to the battery bank needing charging. When the battery bank is fully charged, the Bird will signal the Trombretta to open and isolates the battery so it doesn't overcharge.

....cut....
Ed, in the electrical diagram posted above, I see one isolation relay that separates the house and chassis batteries, and is controlled by what I thought was the BIRD? I thought the isolation relay was what was being called the Trombretta, but since you are referring to two of them, I'm now not sure what I'm looking at.

Is the diagram posted above correct? And if so, which components are the two Trombrettas?

I'm glad I have time to learn this stuff now before having to deal with it. It's very different than my Class C from years back. And although it's not more complicated from a wiring perspective, the operation (function) is more involved (i.e. -- more difficult to follow).
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Old 07-21-2016, 02:05 PM   #40
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There is only one Trombetta in the Axis/Vegas. It is located on the right front when you open the hood. Here is a picture of the Trombetta with the BIRD next to it. One side if the Trombetta is connected to the house batteries and the other to the chassis battery. It us noting more than a relay that opens and closes to connect and seperate the two battery banks. The BIRD (right next to the Trombetta in the picture) tells the Trombetta when to open and close based on the voltage readings from the batteries. According to the Trombetta guy I spoke with the Trombetta almost never goes bad. It is just a simple relay. If anything hoes bad it s the BIRD or (more likely) the connection of the BIRD to the batteries.
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