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Old 11-30-2015, 12:45 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by UKDUDE View Post
Lifeline have a very useful Battery Technical Manual in PDF form which has all this sort of information in it, how to store their batteries, etc.
Here's a quote from the manual:
While in storage, batteries should be boost charged every 90 days or when the open circuit voltage (OCV) drops to 12.5 volts for a 12 volt battery (6.25 volts for a 6 volt battery). This OCV corresponds to approximately 75% state of charge. Boost charge batteries using a constant voltage charger set at 14.4 to 15.0 volts for a 12 volt battery (7.2 to 7.5 volts for a 6 volt battery). The boost charge should be applied until the charging current falls below 0.5 percent of the batteryís 20 hour rated capacity (0.5 amps for a 100 Ah battery).
Hope that helps.


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Old 11-30-2015, 02:49 PM   #58
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Thanks...these forums are very helpful
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Old 12-08-2015, 03:17 PM   #59
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I'm back to digging into the sources of the Interstate parasitic battery drains.

Yesterday I posted my findings on the Kenwwod radio, a source of 0.1 Amp of continuous drain on the house batteries, on a somewhat related thread here.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...ml#post1720547

I plan to post all my future findings on this issue to this more relevant thread.

Titus posted yesterday that the BIM manufacturer just laughed when he asked for the current drain of the BIM. But in post #39 above in this thread coder reported:

"The information about the BIM is from an email from George L Cepynsky of Precision Circuits Inc, 7/27/2015, in response to my emailed request for information, who writes, "We are running 0.008 amps in stand-by mode." He confirms that the BIM does not use 4 W all the time regardless of the state of the relay."

The BIM uses a Trombetta Continuous Duty PowerSeal Contactor. The specs say the 12 V coil has a resistance of 13.5 Ohms and hold voltage of only 3.5 Volts. I've attached a copy of the spec sheet for those interested. That means about a full 1.0 Amp to initially turn on battery connection, but Precision Circuits Inc. (PCI) says they then taper off the voltage to 4-3.5 volts ( I have measured mine at 5.3 volts). A copy of the PCI BIM manual is attached with details on its operation. So at steady state the coil is drawing anywhere from 0.4-0.26 Amps to keep the batteries connected. Based on what coder reported when OFF (standby) the BIM is only drawing 0.008 Amps. The ON-OFF duty cycle is somewhat of a mystery that I'm investigating now. More to come.

BTW Ė you have probably realized Iím a retired engineer with a new hobby: My Airstream Interstate.

Attached Files
File Type: pdf Trombetta continuous-duty-powerseal-family.pdf (524.5 KB, 20 views)
File Type: pdf PCI Battery Isolation Manager Manual.pdf (61.8 KB, 28 views)
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Old 12-08-2015, 05:25 PM   #60
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First, and most important, this is Airstream's problem, and Airstream should be the one crawling around an Interstate with a meter to fix this.

I'm working with my state's Attorney General to have the van fixed or repurchased under my state's Motor Home Lemon Law.

Second, the Magnum is the problem, not the BIM, not the Sunexplorer, and probably not the Kenwood.

I have corresponded with the BIM manufacturer. When the BIM is not activated, its draw is minimal.

The Kenwood is wired off the house batteries. It should have been wired off the Mercedes auxiliary battery. Airstream publishes its draw as 0.001 A. I haven't measured it. I don’t think it’s the main problem.

The Atkinson controller and display are spec'ed use 20-22 mA. Not good, but not a disaster.

I have corresponded with the Magnum Inverter/Charger manufacturer. The MMS-1012 is spec'ed to draw 19W when the inverter is on, and 5W when the inverter is off but in Search mode. (Everyone should have Search turned OFF, which is NOT how Airstream ships.) From an email from Massey Darre, Technical Support, Dec 3 2015, the load when the Inverter/Charger is OFF is 650 mA, which matches the Airstream documentation in the Airstream manual. From a second email from Massey Darre on that same day, he implies the actual draw from the Inverter/Charger is better than the 650 mA spec when he writes "A correction the parasitic load I gave you of 650 milliamps was incorrect it is going to be 200 to 300 milliamps in the off mode."

So, the Magnum never should have been wired outside of the van's manual disconnect system. At 300 mA, it will drain the battery bank to 0 in 3 weeks. Why on earth would the user need the Inverter/Charger powered up when the van's electrical systems are disconnected?
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Old 12-08-2015, 05:30 PM   #61
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Hey, I have a question: Why don't we all just solve this excessive draw problem using the circuit breaker labeled "INVERT/CONV"?

Here's an interesting little fact about my 2014.5 Interstate van: When manually moving the circuit breaker for the circuit labeled "INVERT/CONV" to the off position, I notice that my Inverter/Charger does not turn off. I can watch TV on battery with the "INVERT/CONV" circuit breaker OFF. In fact, manually moving all the circuit breakers in my van, including the one labeled MAIN, to the off position, does not seem to disable or disconnect ANY part of the electrical system in my van.

How do the circuit breakers in YOUR Interstate work?

As I have said before, I'm working with my state's Attorney General to have the van fixed under my state's Motor Home Lemon Law. The van is either 1) defective, 2) UNSAFE, or both.
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Old 12-08-2015, 06:33 PM   #62
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From an email from Massey Darre, Technical Support, Dec 3 2015, the load when the Inverter/Charger is OFF is 650 mA...
P.S. That's just the load from the Inverter/Charger, and does not include the Magnum remote display unit. I have not yet tracked down the draw of the remote display, and the draw from just the display might also be significant.
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Old 12-08-2015, 06:41 PM   #63
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In fact, manually moving all the circuit breakers in my van, including the one labeled MAIN, to the off position, does not seem to disable or disconnect ANY part of the electrical system in my van.
The circuit breakers DO work when you're on shore power or the generator. ALL of them.

When you're on the inverter, SOME of the circuit breakers work. The one for the air conditioner doesn't, and neither does the one for the microwave, because the inverter will not power either of these appliances. You would need to have portable 120vAC appliances plugged into one of the various outlets in order to notice the breakers working when you shut them off, because all of the breakers powered by the inverter are for the various wall outlets.

The inverter runs on battery power, so the INVERT/CONV breaker doesn't control it, nor does the MAIN breaker. Breakers don't control the 12v side of your electrical system. However, when you're on shore power, the converter portion runs on 120vAC to charge your house batteries. If you were plugged into shore power and you shut off the INVERT/CONV breaker, your batteries would not charge.

I don't know if your Interstate is actually a lemon. But just not knowing how things work in your Interstate is not what would make it a lemon.
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Old 12-08-2015, 07:43 PM   #64
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Battery question for van in storage.

Is it a good idea to keep the van plugged in to house current to keep batteries charged. Mine is parked in the driveway and the solar is shaded all day. Thanks.
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Old 12-08-2015, 08:08 PM   #65
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To Boxster1971: Do I understand the that BIM draws .008A *12V = .1W when it is in standby monitoring for the need to charge the coach or chassis battery and for the opportunity to do so? This hardly seems significant in the big picture. And do we really care (within reason) how much current it draws to keep the batteries connected? The available charging current is (hopefully) much more than that current - correct? My sense is that anybody with battery drain problems has bigger problems than the 0.1W of the BIM or the Kenwood - do you agree? Appreciate your information - I too am a (soon to be retired) engineer who is way too curious about things like this...
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Old 12-08-2015, 08:40 PM   #66
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First, and most important, this is Airstream's problem, and Airstream should be the one crawling around an Interstate with a meter to fix this. ....

.... So, the Magnum never should have been wired outside of the van's manual disconnect system. At 300 mA, it will drain the battery bank to 0 in 3 weeks. Why on earth would the user need the Inverter/Charger powered up when the van's electrical systems are disconnected?
I guess Airstream agrees with you and that is why they issued Service Bulletin 164 that adds a relay/solenoid to cut 12V DC power to the Magnum Inverter. SB-164 is covered in another thread in this forum if you haven't read it yet. Thanks to Mcrider for posting it.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...aw-144101.html

For Airstream it could be cheaper to add the SB-164 solenoid rather than adding the inverter to the disconnect switch. But it is a silly solution. I assume Airstream is wiring this new solenoid to be normally OFF so it does not drain batteries when the inverter is not needed. But then it will require more battery power when the inverter is needed.

When I did my inverter mod I wired the inverter and house power through a new Blue Sea 500 Amp disconnect switch. This new switch disables all 12V DC house power, except for two items. One is the BIM to keep Sprinter starter battery charged. The other is the Solar charging system that is on a separate switch.

Best of luck in your Lemon quest.
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Old 12-08-2015, 08:50 PM   #67
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To Boxster1971: Do I understand the that BIM draws .008A *12V = .1W when it is in standby monitoring for the need to charge the coach or chassis battery and for the opportunity to do so? This hardly seems significant in the big picture. And do we really care (within reason) how much current it draws to keep the batteries connected? The available charging current is (hopefully) much more than that current - correct? My sense is that anybody with battery drain problems has bigger problems than the 0.1W of the BIM or the Kenwood - do you agree? Appreciate your information - I too am a (soon to be retired) engineer who is way too curious about things like this...
I agree. The new data just posted by coder sheds new light on the real problem of the Magnum inverter and why Airstream issued SB-164.

As Lew Faber has told us many times the best solution is a total battery disconnect switch. That's what I have now and I'm happy with my new setup.

- - Mike
2013 Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter
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Old 12-08-2015, 09:33 PM   #68
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I agree. The new data just posted by coder sheds new light on the real problem of the Magnum inverter and why Airstream issued SB-164.

As Lew Faber has told us many times the best solution is a total battery disconnect switch. That's what I have now and I'm happy with my new setup.

- - Mike
2013 Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter
Yep! A total 12VDC system disconnect is the best way to preserve your batteries. Having just completed my ABYC Master Marine Electrician certification course this past Friday, I learned that in order to achieve the stated rating on those marine-type disconnect switches, the proper sized cabling is a MUST!

That means 4/0 AWG entering a switch like the Blue Sea Systems M-class red rotary switch in order to achieve the full 300 amp continuous rating.

BTW, if any of the folks in that class, from yacht surveyors to working marine techs saw how RVs are wiredÖ.they would have thrown up!!!
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Old 12-09-2015, 12:15 PM   #69
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This is the first I have seen of the SB (not being an authorized Airstream service center). I educate ALL of my clients to keep the inverter OFF (meaning that there will be NO 120VAC COMING FROM THE BATTERIES THE INVERTER AT ANY TIME) and to only put the inverter to the 'ON' position when 120VAC is desired when off-grid and then to immediately TURN OFF THE INVERTER.

This will remove any parasitic draw from the inverter as it searched for the minimum 5 watt load. It has NO EFFECT on the charging section of the Magnum when shore power is present.

I've tried to follow this entire thread, but it frequently goes beyond my comprehension of electrical systems. I"ve pasted the above partial quote from a Lewster post in an earlier thread to set up this question: I am in the habit of MOSTLY leaving the inverter off, except when I need to watch TV (very seldom) or use the outlets (more frequently, but definitely not when stored). DOESN'T THIS ALMOST COMPLETELY SOLVE MY PROBLEM OF MAGNUM PARASITIC DRAW WITHOUT RESORTING TO A NEW DISCONNECT SWITCH OR OTHER SOLUTIONS?
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:23 PM   #70
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This is the first I have seen of the SB (not being an authorized Airstream service center). I educate ALL of my clients to keep the inverter OFF (meaning that there will be NO 120VAC COMING FROM THE BATTERIES THE INVERTER AT ANY TIME) and to only put the inverter to the 'ON' position when 120VAC is desired when off-grid and then to immediately TURN OFF THE INVERTER.

This will remove any parasitic draw from the inverter as it searched for the minimum 5 watt load. It has NO EFFECT on the charging section of the Magnum when shore power is present.

I've tried to follow this entire thread, but it frequently goes beyond my comprehension of electrical systems. I"ve pasted the above partial quote from a Lewster post in an earlier thread to set up this question: I am in the habit of MOSTLY leaving the inverter off, except when I need to watch TV (very seldom) or use the outlets (more frequently, but definitely not when stored). DOESN'T THIS ALMOST COMPLETELY SOLVE MY PROBLEM OF MAGNUM PARASITIC DRAW WITHOUT RESORTING TO A NEW DISCONNECT SWITCH OR OTHER SOLUTIONS?
Just turning your Magnum inverter off does not stop the 0.3A (300ma) it draws whenever connected to a 12V battery. To stop this problem get your Airstream dealer to install SB-164. I'll bet Airstream will make a design change to eliminate the Magnum drain by either installing the solenoid in production or wiring the inverter through the disconnect switch on new models.

I drove my Interstate to work today (Iím only semi-retired) and left the disconnect switch on so the house batteries would eventually drop below 13.0V after sunset, this then causes the BIM to turn OFF. If the house batteries stay at 13.0V the BIM keeps the batteries connected and then transfers current to the Sprinter battery. Then I confirmed the basic parasitic drain is 0.5A (500mA). This is consistent with the data I have gather as summarized in the attached table. This table is only accurate to 1mA as things like the CO and Smoke Alarms only draw 22microA. Iím now satisfied I understand the parasitic current drain on the Interstates that can drain your house batteries in a few days with everything turned off. With the disconnect switch installed by Airstream the Kenwood and Magnum inverter drains remain for a total of 0.4A (400mA). Airstream has now issued SB-164 to fully cut off the Magnum inverter.

Enjoy,
- - Mike
2013 Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter
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