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Old 12-10-2015, 09:23 AM   #71
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This thread and the one on SB-164 have been a great help. As I understand the solenoid to be installed per SB-164, the Kenwood is still going to be draining the batteries. I have been disconnecting the batteries until getting around to installing a battery disconnect switch this weekend. If my comment on the Kenwood is correct, without the battery disconnect switch, the batteries will still be run down, just slower. Please correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:47 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
If the house batteries stay at 13.0V the BIM keeps the batteries connected and then transfers current to the Sprinter battery.
The BIM is a little more complicated than that. I've attached the manual, which you may not have seen. If the rest of the electronics in the van weren't such a disaster, after moving the Magnum to the disconnect switch and moving the Kenwood to the Mercedes auxiliary battery, the next thing I'd do would be to put the BIM on a manual switch. The BIM operation is incompatible with proper maintenance of the Lifeline batteries for those of us who store the vans unplugged.

Then, even if you fix the Magnum/Kenwood/BIM problems, you still have the Atkinson controller voltage problem.
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File Type: pdf 00-10021-000-Battery-Isolation-Manager-Manual-RevA.pdf (63.3 KB, 23 views)
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:53 AM   #73
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The circuit breakers DO work when you're on shore power or the generator.
I'll accept that you are correct about circuit breakers. RV electrical systems are not my area of expertise.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:03 AM   #74
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I don't know if your Interstate is actually a lemon...
This thread is too useful to get bogged down in Washington State's Motor Vehicle Lemon Law, so let's drop it in this thread. The law defines a "lemon", however, and my Interstate unquestionably qualifies. All three circumstances, any one of which is sufficient to trigger the law's protections, apply to my Interstate, including out of service 30 calendar days or more for repair.

The repeatedly failing carbon monoxide alarm, burned out main circuit board on the generator, failed front TV, the leak, solar that produced zero current all summer, and all the little stuff (cabinet carpets, headphone jacks, etc.). It all adds up.
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:58 AM   #75
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The BIM is a little more complicated than that. I've attached the manual, which you may not have seen. If the rest of the electronics in the van weren't such a disaster, after moving the Magnum to the disconnect switch and moving the Kenwood to the Mercedes auxiliary battery, the next thing I'd do would be to put the BIM on a manual switch. The BIM operation is incompatible with proper maintenance of the Lifeline batteries for those of us who store the vans unplugged.

Then, even if you fix the Magnum/Kenwood/BIM problems, you still have the Atkinson controller voltage problem.

Thanks coder - your info has been very helpful. I'm working on some changes that I think will give me an indicator light to tell when the BIM connects the batteries and add a manual cutoff switch. I haven't got all the parts I need yet so that will have to wait for a future post after I get it modified. I agree that the logic of the BIM isn't great when combined with the nearly useless Atkinson Solar Controller. With my 400 watts of solar and a Blue Sky MPPT controller it does keep the Sprinter battery topped off all the time. This works great for my outside parking spot. When I'm home I usually only drive my van once or twice a week.

Regarding your lemon - you could always start a new thread once you get it resolved with Airstream. From what you have posted it does sound like you have had more than a normal amounts of problems.


- - Mike
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:19 AM   #76
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House battery drainage

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim.waters View Post
This thread and the one on SB-164 have been a great help. As I understand the solenoid to be installed per SB-164, the Kenwood is still going to be draining the batteries. I have been disconnecting the batteries until getting around to installing a battery disconnect switch this weekend. If my comment on the Kenwood is correct, without the battery disconnect switch, the batteries will still be run down, just slower. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Jim - I can't be sure how Airstream is wiring in the SB-164 solenoid since it looked like the posting of SB-164 was only the first page and not details on how to make the connections. If they wire it through the battery disconnect then when the disconnect is turned OFF both the Magnum inverter and Kenwood radio will not be draining the house batteries. The problematic Kenwood power comes from the 12V DC fuse #2 (7.5A) that puts 12V on the ignition wire to the Kenwood. The other primary 12V for the Kenwood comes from a 15A thermal circuit breaker (CB) located inside the electrical compartment under the lounge seat near the back side of the disconnect switch. That thermal CB is always powered if the batteries are connected. With the disconnect OFF the Kenwood is only fully powered when the Sprinter key is ON; the way Kenwood designed the radio.

From what I can tell Airstream's SB-164 has the potential to eliminate nearly all of the house battery drain problems and let the solar panel keep the batteries topped off.

Hope this helps,

- - Mike
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Old 12-10-2015, 12:44 PM   #77
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Just remember that a simple 1/4 turn of an adequately rated marine battery disconnect switch will remove ALL parasitic loads from the batteries and isolate them.


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Old 12-10-2015, 04:55 PM   #78
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Just remember that a simple 1/4 turn of an adequately rated marine battery disconnect switch will remove ALL parasitic loads from the batteries and isolate them....
That's exactly what I did. It would be best if Airstream did the same thing. Attached file is a diagram of my 12V DC coach system with the new battery-inverter upgrade.

- - Mike
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File Type: pdf Interstate 12V Battery-Inverter Upgrade Diagram.pdf (369.3 KB, 28 views)
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:30 PM   #79
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After I uploaded the diagram above I realized it was missing the thermal CB's. Here is a better diagram.
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File Type: pdf Interstate 12V Battery-Inverter Upgrade Diagram.pdf (383.4 KB, 55 views)
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Old 12-10-2015, 08:12 PM   #80
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After I uploaded the diagram above I realized it was missing the thermal CB's. Here is a better diagram.
NICE PRINT!!!!

Did you install but not show the iPN-PRO remote from Blue Sky and the ME-RC remote from Magnum? Battery temp sensors for both?

I know showing them would mess up the great wire flow in the diagram………(like the negative from the combiner box to the charge control)….. just checking????

Love the 'ice cube' fuses too. Most folks don't even know they exist….
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:30 AM   #81
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NICE PRINT!!!!

Did you install but not show the iPN-PRO remote from Blue Sky and the ME-RC remote from Magnum? Battery temp sensors for both?

I know showing them would mess up the great wire flow in the diagram………(like the negative from the combiner box to the charge control)….. just checking????

Love the 'ice cube' fuses too. Most folks don't even know they exist….
Yes - I installed all those items and added them to the diagram last night before I hit the sack. Good call on the missing negative from the solar combiner box. I added it this morning. Got the "ice cube" (MRBF) fuse idea from the marine electrical articles I have read. Also noticed that Airstream is now using them on the new battery location under the van.

For your enjoyment I'm attaching the latest diagram. I didn't follow Magnum's recommendation on hooking up the 12V source to the BMK module right on the battery terminals with one of those inline fuses, that I hate. Since the distribution panel was nearby I just powered the BMK module through a spare fuse slot on the panel. I think the very small voltage drop by going that way should not effect the performance. Finding 2A ATC/ATO fuses was a challenge as none of the auto parts stores around me carried them that small. I had to do the on-line order to get them.

When I make mods I keep track of changes in my notebook then when I make a diagram so I can remember what changed. Next I need to make a diagram of the 120V AC side changes with the new inverter.
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Old 12-11-2015, 01:41 PM   #82
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Meh. You've redesigned, replaced or rewired the entire system. I'm still interested in seeing Airstream make the existing components work together the way they can and should. That's what I paid for originally.

Anyway, you've wired the Kenwood just like Airstream did. In the SB-164 thread, you thought the direct connection was wrong. Airstream says they use a power relay at the radio. Are you still sure with ignition off and house power off that the Kenwood draw is 0.1A? No-one else anywhere on the web is complaining about this Kenwood model's power usage, and Airstream publishes 0.001A for the Kenwood.
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Old 12-11-2015, 08:39 PM   #83
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Meh. You've redesigned, replaced or rewired the entire system. I'm still interested in seeing Airstream make the existing components work together the way they can and should. That's what I paid for originally.

Anyway, you've wired the Kenwood just like Airstream did. In the SB-164 thread, you thought the direct connection was wrong. Airstream says they use a power relay at the radio. Are you still sure with ignition off and house power off that the Kenwood draw is 0.1A? No-one else anywhere on the web is complaining about this Kenwood model's power usage, and Airstream publishes 0.001A for the Kenwood.
Yes - I left the Kenwood wired the way Airstream installed it. I didn't mean to imply the way Airstream wired it was wrong - it has to be that way if you want to use the radio while camping or parked. Actually the Airstream wiring is very clever with diodes to prevent cross connection between the two battery systems.

My point was it's another factor in the mix of parasitic battery drain. No one on the "web" is going to complain about Kenwood power usage as they have the ignition power wired the way Kenwood recommends, via the vehicle ignition key.

The Kenwood in my Interstate does draw 0.1A when turned OFF with house power disconnect ON, in normal use configuration. I've measured it. It draws a little over 1.0A when on in normal use. The Kenwood does have an internal relay that cuts drain to what I'd guess is 0.001A you quoted, but that relay is only activated if the ignition signal to radio is off. In the Interstate that ignition line is powered by 12V DC fuse #2 and is only off when you turn the house power disconnect to OFF, or pull the #2 fuse. Then to radio is powered up by the Sprinter ignition key.

I redesigned and rebuilt the electrical system to meet my needs rather than paying more for something like an Advanced RV custom built unit. When I got mine in October 2012 the Roadtrek e-Trek was not yet available. At that time it was either a Winnebago ERA, an Advanced RV or an Interstate because I wanted the extended Sprinter. For the money the Interstate was a winner for me. Of course I have not had the problems you are having.

I did my own conversion on my first camper van many years ago. Now I was more interested in getting a good van to travel and then customizing it myself as I determined how I would use it.
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Old 12-12-2015, 12:49 AM   #84
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Got it.
  • 1A when the Kenwood unit is on and being used
  • 0.1A when unit is off but house power is on
  • 0.001A (per Airstream docs) with ignition off and house disconnected
My problem is parking in storage, disconnected, under the cloudy skies of Seattle, so I'm good with the 0.001A Kenwood draw.

In my van, the Atwood propane alarm (70 mA) is OFF when the house power is disconnected. With the Magnum and its remote disconnected, I think everything else adds up to less than 6 Ah per week. The batteries (counting NO solar contribution) should last longer than 2 months at that rate. That's where the Interstate should have been when it rolled off the line in Ohio.
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