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Old 09-27-2019, 12:54 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2015 Hurricane 32n
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THOR #2983
Wheres the BIRD?

2015 Hurricane 32n. The converter seems to be charging the engine battery, but the alternator doesn't seem to be charging the house batteries. Went looking for BIRD and found the epoxy box in the photo. Anybody know anything about this thing? BIRD alternative?

Thanks
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Old 09-27-2019, 01:20 PM   #2
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Searching the forums, I think I found the answer:isolator relay delay (IRD?). Now on to figuring out how to diagnose it short of buying another one and splicing it in.

Intellitec Isolator Relay Delay 00-00629-120
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Old 09-27-2019, 01:28 PM   #3
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THOR #7035
Before you go cutting any wires you need to see if the Trombetta relay is working - a much more common failure item:

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Old 09-27-2019, 01:34 PM   #4
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Will do. Thanks.
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Old 09-27-2019, 01:55 PM   #5
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THOR #2631
You say chassis battery charges fine when on shore power so the Trombetta (inter connect or isolator relay) is likely working for that charge mode, but when shore is off and you are running the engine/alternator does the Trombetta operate? Check charging voltages on both chassis and coach batteries with a voltmeter when running off alternator. Also check ground and sensing connections on Bird for clean and good connections. Attaching a good reference document with trouble shoot info.......might be the Bird that has crapped on you.
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File Type: pdf Best Intellitec BIRD Info.pdf (101.2 KB, 54 views)
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Old 09-27-2019, 02:26 PM   #6
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THOR #2983
Thanks. It turns out I have the economy model. Isolater Relay Delay. Only charges house from alternator and not chassis from converter. Planning further testing. RVing is a hobby where there is always something to do. What fun!
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Old 09-27-2019, 03:32 PM   #7
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That would be the explanation for the charge pattern you are seeing. Ther is a IRD (no B) document attached FYI and others that may have never seen it. I wonder how Thor decided which battery management system to use on each model/year......cost is certainly a factor as usual.
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File Type: pdf IRD Intellitec.pdf (54.5 KB, 48 views)
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Old 09-28-2019, 02:58 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input so far. This is a weird situation.

It seems that the solenoid is engaged when the converter is on but not when the ignition is on (allowing for the delay). I would suspect that the wiring was wrong, but this has worked properly until recently. I'm wondering if maybe there are a couple of diodes in line somewhere trying to make this isolator relay device behave as if it was a bird. The isolator relay device diagram shows a simple connection to the ignition for the device, with no connection to the converter whatsoever. Yet the solenoid is being engaged when the converter is on.

I am considering removing this ird and replacing it with a real bird. Thor was good about supplying wiring diagrams, but this particular feature wasn't covered. Any ideas?

Again, thanks
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Old 09-28-2019, 04:20 PM   #9
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THOR #2631
Well if what are saying is true (and the “isolation/interconnect” relay main contacts are closed and making good contact), then you should see both coach and chassis batteries charging from the converter (identical or close charging voltage on both strings). This would be backwards from the operating description of the IRD document. As you say, it would make you wonder if maybe the ignition sense wire to the IRD was actually connected to the converter feed to the + terminal on the coach battery instead. Since this all worked properly at one time (and no wiring changes made since) then we could “assume” that wiring was and is still correct. I recall seeing recently another poster with an IRD system having a blown fuse in the ignition sense line which was buried inside a taped connection. If that fuse was blown in your situation the ignition sense would not work (so charging from alternator would not close the isolation relay as it should), but that would not explain why when on converter in your current situation, the isolation relay is closing (or staying operated). Possibly the IRD device has itself failed and is just doing strange things?
I have seen some devices on the internet that can be purchased to change an IRD to operate like a BIRD (to enable true bidirectional battery charging), but can’t advise you which way to go. I am lucky to have an old ACE with a BCC and the electronics which allows for bi-directional battery charging. If your IRD unit has failed then maybe it would be worth checking out the alternatives for bi-directional control.
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Old 09-28-2019, 05:15 PM   #10
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Javelin, I think you are right about changing to a real BIRD. I'm about 600 miles from home, so I will probably run the genset to keep the fridge cold on the way home. Then I can fix in a more leisurely manner with less fear of being stranded.
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Old 09-28-2019, 05:30 PM   #11
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THOR #2631
I hope you complete your trip without further issues. If you camp another night you might try finding that ignition sense fuse, or try to see if the IRD is actually getting alternator voltage.

The Bird conversions I have seen are from Blue-Sea as I recall.....which is used in boats, but hey, RV's are just land boats. The other benefit is they use a latching relay so it has low or no long term current flow to hold or release the interconnect/isolation relay (unlike an always powered style relay). Let the forum know how you make out.
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Old 09-30-2019, 11:21 PM   #12
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The saga continues. I learned that I don't have an IRD, but rather a Potted BIRD.

Thor has been very helpful with providing documents that I've requested. Kudos to them.
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Old 10-01-2019, 07:17 PM   #13
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THOR #2631
So back to post #5 .....the BIRD is back. Check your BIRD wire assignments are correct; clean and tight; check your charging source voltages along the entire circuit and make sure the BIRD senses the correct battery string being charged. If it works one way on both battery strings (BIRD closes isolator relay OK) and not the other way, I would suspect source charging voltage is not being detected by the BIRD correctly in that direction. ("Buy Buy" Birdie?)

Wires into potted electronics can also be prone to fatigue and internal breakage where it enters the rigid potting material. But if there is enough slack and no constant flexing in the wires at the BIRD, that is probably not the issue here.
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:25 PM   #14
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THOR #2983
I think waiting to dig into it until we get home is the plan. I can run the generator every so often to keep the fridge cold.

The bird is actuating the solenoid when the converter/charger is running. Here's my next things to look into:

1) solenoid engaging but internal switch contacts not connecting.

2) 12v ignition sense line not active when ignition on.

3) charge line not connected to coach battery.

I will turn off converter and disconnect house batteries in order to find out what still has 12v coming from chassis battery.
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Old 10-02-2019, 12:52 PM   #15
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I've been waiting to make sure you got some useful advice...

Before I dropped this into place!



I hope that you find the information that you need, and are able to do what you want with it: good luck!
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:53 PM   #16
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
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THOR #2983
Thanks to advice replying to this topic, as well as other topics on the forum, the problem is resolved.

I replaced the Trombetta relay with the exact replacement from Amazon for $25.84. Being a curious sort, I disassembled the defective part and found pitted, burned contacts.

Glad it wasn’t the BIRD because I haven’t found the potted BIRD on Amazon or EBay.

The house batteries were “tired” so I replaced them as well in order to return the 12v system to 100%.

Here’s the part I bought:

https://www.amazon.com/Trombetta-684...s%2C149&sr=8-3
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:06 PM   #17
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Congratulations!

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