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Old 02-11-2020, 04:57 AM   #1
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2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Orland Park , Illinois
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Recharging batteries

will running Mercedes engine recharge the house battery?
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Old 02-11-2020, 08:57 AM   #2
J&J In A Can
 
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Cottonwood , Arizona
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Recharging batteries

The Mercedes will charge the house batteries when driving when the battery voltages are within a preset range. The battery interface module will keep them connected and charging. If the house battery drops too low, the BIM keeps them separated so the other battery isn't damaged. When this happens, you will need to plug in somewhere to recharge your house battery from the inverter/charger.
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:29 AM   #3
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Fulton , Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveToWander View Post
The Mercedes will charge the house batteries when driving when the battery voltages are within a preset range. The battery interface module will keep them connected and charging. If the house battery drops too low, the BIM keeps them separated so the other battery isn't damaged. When this happens, you will need to plug in somewhere to recharge your house battery from the inverter/charger.
This is generally true, but there is one condition where it does not work well. When the batteries are significantly drained and you are in full sunlight the solar panels apply a voltage to the batteries the causes the BIM to keep the batteries disconnected and not getting a charge from alternator to coach batteries when they really need it.

How do I know this? I have modified my BIM installation so I can see the actual current going to and from the BIM to the batteries. I've attached a diagram showing how I did this, also a photo of the meter from driver seat.
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Old 02-12-2020, 06:21 AM   #4
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Some questions:
1) Have you replaced the push-button momentary battery-connect switch with a toggle switch (what you have termed the battery assist switch)?
2) What is the wire BLK/red (Ma4) to CB1 15 Amp/ Is that new or existing?
3) Why have you switched the meter power readout? Is there a reason to not be using it?
4) Is the violet wire new? Based on it being connected to the 'dash switch' terminal of the BIM I think it is existing, yet it appears to go somewhere different. Seems that you are now using it to force connection off instead of forcing connection on???
5) Is the Battery Connected Indicator LED (upper left corner of diagram) new?
6) Can you identify the model/part numbers/source of the new components that you have used?
7) With these changes have you 'eliminated' the benefits of changing to the Blue Sea ACR (this question is sure to generate input from many others!)
8) Does the meter read '+' and '-' so that one can determine whether house batteries is charging chassis battery (with solar, generator, or shore power) or chassis is charging house batteries using the alternator?

Please forgive my inability to read/understand your schematic if the answers to some of my questions are obvious.
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Old 02-12-2020, 02:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titus View Post
Some questions:
1) Have you replaced the push-button momentary battery-connect switch with a toggle switch (what you have termed the battery assist switch)?
Yes I replaced the momentary switch with a new SPST rocker switch that contains an LED indicator light.

Quote:
2) What is the wire BLK/red (Ma4) to CB1 15 Amp/ Is that new or existing?
It is the existing Airstream wire Ma4 that runs from the thermal Circuit Breaker 1 (CB1) near coach batteries to the switch near drivers knee.

Quote:
3) Why have you switched the meter power readout? Is there a reason to not be using it?
I added the meter switch as the meter is not used most of the time and it is fairly bright, especially at night. You could certainly eliminate this switch and have the meter display on constantly, but it would also be on when the van engine is turned off as this power is from the coach batteries.

Quote:
4) Is the violet wire new? Based on it being connected to the 'dash switch' terminal of the BIM I think it is existing, yet it appears to go somewhere different. Seems that you are now using it to force connection off instead of forcing connection on???
It is the existing wire provided by PCI that connects the electronic module to the BIM relay as seen in the attached document. It is a short wire located with BIM. The "dash switch" label is misleading as it is the wire that activates the relay when the electronic logic says the batteries need to be connected. The actual dash switch on an Interstate provides 12VDC power to the relay to connect the batteries manually. I just added a switch in this wire to deactivate the BIM when servicing the electrical system to prevent the batteries from being connected inadvertently.

Quote:
5) Is the Battery Connected Indicator LED (upper left corner of diagram) new?
Yes it is a new indicator light mounted an the curbside control panel in rear of my van. I installed it first before other mods so I could tell when the batteries were connected from rear of van.

Quote:
6) Can you identify the model/part numbers/source of the new components that you have used?
Sure - The meter from Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/bayite-Digita.../dp/B01DDQM6Z4

The meter enclosure and switch from member "hein" at DIYvan (Impact Products) on eBay:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-panel-...h/132286443113

New Rocker Switch w/LED can be sourced at most auto parts stores. Mine is similar to these from Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Waterproof-Ma.../dp/B07FBQKQVM

The control panel indicator LED is from Blue Sea Systems, purchased from Amazon. Be sure to get a 12V version:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000MMH2HK

Quote:
7) With these changes have you 'eliminated' the benefits of changing to the Blue Sea ACR (this question is sure to generate input from many others!)
My modification is just an alternative to using a Blue Sea ACR. For me it was a simpler mod once I understood how the BIM worked. I completed this mod in 2017 and it has been working fine since then.

Quote:
8) Does the meter read '+' and '-' so that one can determine whether house batteries is charging chassis battery (with solar, generator, or shore power) or chassis is charging house batteries using the alternator?
Yes the display shows a dot in lower RH corner to indicate opposite current flow. I used this meter as it fits in the enclosure sold by Impact Products.

Quote:
Please forgive my inability to read/understand your schematic if the answers to some of my questions are obvious.
No problem - it took me a while to figure this all out and I've been an Aerospace Engineer for over 30 years.

Hope this helps,
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