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Blue Sea Battery Cut-Off Switch Question


Tom Cherry
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Has anyone ever reached into the Battery Cut Off box and felt the cables and then tried to wiggle them for tightness?  If you read the following..which is detailed....then you will find I was out of options.  I found that BOTH switches have one terminal that will wiggle.  The nut is tight and to the 120 Inch Pound spec.  BUT, when you grasp and wiggle the cable....the entire terminal stud will rotate a little or wiggle back and forth.  Is this NORMAL...??

Here is the rest of the story.....  Have the OEM (2009 Camelot) 6006 - Type M 300 Cont Amp Blue Seas house and chassis switches.  Have chased an intermittent low voltage at front slides hydraulic motor.  Frank has been tech supporting me.  I have measured voltage drops on every component and cable.  i have measured voltage after every component.  This goes back several years.  Have tightened cables and corrected loose conditions and such....but there is a LURKING Gremlin.

I drove it a few times during my injury....  Got out of storage last Sunday.  Drove it 50 miles or so to exercise Genny and HP and such.  Slides were GREAT.

At home for a few days.  Loaded.  I also exercised my house batteries....so I had the tray pulled in and out a few times.  Put in slides.  FINE.  Drove it 75 miles to a ACC Tournament.  Slides barely went out.  Replaced a resettable CB that was hot or smelling.  Also reverified all cable connections.  Left when they cancelled event.

Main (big) slide was still sluggish meaning now motor voltage, probably caused by a high resistance connection somewhere.  I was also running the Genny so that I was pumping juice back to the House and not via the Big Boy.   OK... Back slides OK - Electric.  The pump is fused @ 200 Amp on the buss.  then a 4/0 cable up front.  Goes through a 150 Amp resettable CB.  I had changed that out.  STOPPED.   Then I jumpered the Chassis and House to eliminate a weak (Trojans would max out at 75% SOC due to being 8 years old).  That WOULD have eliminated a Negative ground cable connection.  Brought in the smaller front hydraulic.....same deal.   Sluggish and slow.  OH WELL.....DROVE home...

Frank said to start all the testing.  Next day....I pulled power.   NO  AC hookup.  NO Genny running.  Just plain DC from the 75% Trojans.  Cycled it 10 - 12 times to gather all the voltage drops and also the Incoming and Outgoing voltages at each connection.  NADA thing WRONG.  Worked like a champ.  Perfect.

So driving MUST have vibrated a connection and "fixed" it.  BUT WHERE....   I then started feeling around in places I don't ordinarily go to.  That is when I discovered the loose studs (seemingly) on the House switch.  BINGO....must be it.  OPPS....the Chassis has one also.

SO....is this normal or do I have a dual failure?  Any experience on your switches or when you do your cable and connection PM?  I always WIGGLE first....then check nut torque on stud.  THAT procedure found the loose Stud on the Lippert Motor.  I fixed that.....and that was FINE this time...

Outta ideas???

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Tom:

Unfortunately we drive a house down the road in earthquake conditions. They get bumped, banged and bounced down the road.  They also flex a great deal and all of this add's up to problems that can occur with not only wiring and connectors but also general parts and assemblies found on our coaches.

I cannot count the times Dustin and I has found loose connections or missing screws or bolts. We have had coaches come in where they complained of hard operating slides. Dustin crawls into the basement to inspect the assemblies and finds washer and bolts laying on top of things that have vibrated off. I heard a weird vibrating noise near the back of my coach and found it was the rear fender. One of the hold down screws went missing. I have repaired parts on coaches where screws and bolts went bye bye.

I have stated in seminars before that every coach owner should inspect ( on an annual basis ) all of their main electrical wiring and hold down screws. By this I mean checking the screws to be sure they are tight in the breaker box. Tightening the screws on the wires going into and out of the ATC. Cleaning and checking all battery cables both at the batteries, relays, inverter and starter to be sure they are good, clean and tight. These are all safety related items and do not think for a second they wont burn your coach to the ground. They will.

Dustin got into a breaker panel a couple weeks ago on a customers coach and felt that the outside panel was hot. He had a wire loose on a breaker where the screw was backing out. It seems that every month a customer pulls in with something not working or intermittently not working. Many times it is a loose plug, connector or wire. We spray the plug or connector with T-9 Boeshield ( which will dissolve rust and corrosion and leave behind a protective film ) and then reconnect them.

I have lost track of the number of loose connections I have seen or fixed which either prevented a component from working or created headaches for the owner. It makes me wonder just how many service center techs have just replaced something versus chasing down the bad connector.

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Chris,

FIRST.....is anyone is in the MH and has a minute....and has the Blue Seas 6006 switches, can you (carefully) reach around and test or wiggle BOTH cable on each switch.  I have taken the cables off and there is a "decided" movement in the terminals.  You can NOT remove the wiggle with just seating or tightening the nuts.  I tried that on both switches....the cables still "wiggle".  

Thanks for doing this and reporting it....OK....to Chris' comments....

Yes....  I have dutifully PM'ed my entire electrical connection at least every two years and focused on the Hydraulic slide circuits since 2017.  I blew the first fuse circa 2011.  I put in the only one I could find, a NAPA fuse that I had to do some Dremel tool work to get it to work.  That held for a long time.  

This post will be wordy....  BUT, if you skim to the bottom.....I have contrived a fix that will allow me to deploy my slides....AND if the primary circuit fails....I can THEN do testing without fear of not being able to get them in.....Watch for it at the bottom....  Now back to the post....

I found a major issue in 2018....in that the Lippert motor has terminal studs that have lock nuts to keep them tight in the motor housing.  So just loosening the cables with the external terminal (cable) nuts is a waste. You have to tighten the lock nuts FIRST....to seat the terminal studs.  I went back over the entire circuit last Wednesday and replaced the Resettable C/B and also PM'ed the ground stud or the cable where the motor is grounded and snugged up the nuts everywhere.

That did NOT FIX ANYTHING.  I talked to a mobile tech that was working on a buddy's SAT system (only $3K to replace).  He may know SAT....but he would fail the basic electrical knowledge and trouble shooting tests that a bunch of our member pass with honors.

HAS TO BE THE BATTERIES....>GET NEW BATTERIES.    I could not even get him to understand that if I jumper cabled the batteries with the Genny running that I have at least 300 amps of available power.  He said that my 75% batteries needed to be LOAD TESTED (he had a $50 meter).  He did not understand basic SG and Voltage testing and SOC and exercising and calculating the rebound  capacity.  THAT is when I said....Thanks, but NO thanks.

After that, I decided NOT to take it to a very experienced tech, whom I know understands Monaco circuits.  He works for CW (Don't GASP....he and one of the best Monaco tech's at my buddy's former dealership talked at least once a week about problems.  The tech at CW would tell the Monaco tech how to fix or look for things on Winnies and Fleetwoods and such and the Monaco tech would tell the CW tech how to do things on Monaco's).  

I DID have a premonition that maybe driving it home would reverse the situation.  It did.  It ALSO told me that my 8 year old Trojans with 75% Max SOC would easily cycle the hydraulic slides at least 12 - 15 times and still be rarin' to go.  So much for old Trojans.....

Bottom line.....I ordered all the parts yesterday for an overhaul.  I plan to talk to Blue Seas tomorrow.  I have TWO new main Type M  switches coming.  The M's are the OEM Monaco 300 Amp units.   I also ordered a special Type M switch with FOUR positions.  OFF. Bat 1, Bat 2 and BOTH.  I have a 200 Amp stud in the FRB from the CHASSIS.  SO....my bypass or emergency circuit is this.  I will use the 4 position switch.  Bat 1 will be Chassis.  Bat 2 will be House (the terminal layout and cabling made that call).  The OUTPUT will be to the 150 Amp Resettable CB in the FRB.  I will leave the Blue Seas switch in BAT 2.  That is exactly as Monaco wired it so that the House via a 200 Amp ANL fuse will run the Hydraulic pump.  If that fails or there is low voltage, then I will switch to BAT 1, which is the 200 Amp (ANL Fuse) feed to the FRB.  So, if there is a problem UPSTREAM from the CB, I can do my tests but in the end....use my slides.

I will report what Blue Seas says.  Yesterday, I did a complete PM of the circuits in the RRB and there was not any issues....so it has to be one of the following.

Bad or erratic or sometimes has resistance House Cut Off.

Bad cable (has a break in it and moving it sometimes "fixes"

Bad cable fitting from the House to the RRB Buss connections.  Van Williams and I talked and he said that he had (as Bill Groves had also reported) a cable with a seemingly GREAT LOOKING terminal.  Shrink was perfect.  BUT, inside was corrosion.  He replaced it and NO MORE GREMLINS.  I ordered a cable crimping tool for the work I will do and also got a variety of  terminals for 2/0 and 4/0 ends.

 

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On 3/15/2020 at 8:10 AM, Tom Cherry said:

Bad cable fitting from the House to the RRB Buss connections.  Van Williams and I talked and he said that he had (as Bill Groves had also reported) a cable with a seemingly GREAT LOOKING terminal.  Shrink was perfect.  BUT, inside was corrosion.  He replaced it and NO MORE GREMLINS.  I ordered a cable crimping tool for the work I will do and also got a variety of  terminals for 2/0 and 4/0 ends.

 

I've been re-crimping and replacing ends on some of mine lately. One terminal on a short cable connecting the batteries in series was nicely heat-shrink'd, but wasn't actually crimped AT ALL.  Other 4/0 terminals were barely pinched down onto the wire.  One of the cables in the battery compartment looked fine on the outside but was all full of corrosion under the heat shrink.

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UPDATE....Problem MAY be resolved.....read on.....this have been a BUGGER....

Blue Seas contacted me.  They are in Washington (Bellingham?) which is north of Seattle.  So, they are telecommuting.

The wiggle in the cables is NORMAL.  They rivet in the contacts and such (see their web page and click on support).  The entire stud is then formed or has been blanked out with a Hex.  That hex goes into the body of the switch.  The wiggle, assuming it is less than say 5 deg is NORMAL.  He said you can NOT tighten the switch and get rid of it....you will overtorque and kill the switch.  SO....my switches are NORMAL.  I have a spare now.

Back to my Hydraulic drawing a heavy load Issue.  I DO agree that somewhere in the maze of cables and connection and PROBABLY cable ends....there is an issue...and it "vibrates" and works....then it don't.  I have the tools now to fix it if it comes back and I can isolate it.  My two Position selector switch up front will allow me to verify WHICH end of the circuit (the motor) or the feed to the Resettable CB is the issue....and ODDS ARE....I  can still get the slides in.  IF it is the Hydraulic... I can then at least know...and hello  NEW MOTOR...

I DID run into an interesting situation that might be unique to Camelots....HERE GOES...

I felt there was a little more than normal wiggle in the House Blue Seas switch cable end.  BUT, you can not, unless you train a boa constrictor, get to the stud nut.  The Intellitec House (Salesman) Solenoid is jammed right on the back that even Houdini could not get in there.  I have mine bypassed.  BINGO....why do I need it?  It is a bear to get out.  The mounting nuts were designed for a flex socket.  I finally got a 1/4" drive 6 point socket to seat and removed the two lock nuts.  I had pulled the OPEN and CLOSE control wiring off when I bypassed it.  There is one pesky unlabeled wire....that comes from the MAIN battery post and goes through a 5 A fuse and heads off into the hinterland.  I THINK, from the prints and the Intellitec PDF that is actually the Control power that goes up front to the Switch.  BUT, to be sure....I will reinstall it with an inline fuse so that in case Monaco snitched power for some other circuit (or I might have....who knows), I will STILL have that.  With the Solenoid removed....the pulling or replacement of the Blue Seas switch will be a LOT easier.  The Blue Seas tech said that Monaco really hid or made replacement worse that any of their other applications.  Oh WELL...

SO....reassembly has begun.  There will be a post on Batteries separate from this....

 

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Right or wrong.....my wiring mods are finished.  Have the Blue Seas 4 Position selector switch installed.  Bat 1 is the Coach (OEM setup).  Bat 2 is the Chassis alternate or Bat 2.

If it breaks or acts up, will try Bat 2

Learned a lot about cable crimping.   Learned that 1/0 wire is almost 3/4" diameter and it s a bugger to get the shrink tubing to move on them....  hands feeling the pain.  BUT....it is done and the new Bussmann ANL fuse installed.  

IMG_1289.JPEG

IMG_1290.JPEG

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21 hours ago, Paul A. said:

Looks like the switches pictured here are mounted on material that have a crack at the screws areas on the left in the photos.     

Paul A

Good catch.  I used a piece of 2X4 that I had "split" or cut down when I needed a custom width as a filler.  It was top grade white pine.  I had to cut off about 1/2" from the 2X  side to make a spacer from the other side.  So, I had this piece of 1/2" laying around.   I used a 3/4" spacer from a 5/4 decking, pressure treated pine.  I should have predrilled the holes for the #7 X 1" deck screws.  The ends split....as you picked up.   One of them propagated into the body of the mounting plate.   However, I had clamped and glued the spacers to the piece of 1/2" white pine.  I let it sit for 48 hours so the splits are probably fine.  Visually, they are visible, but I don't worry about them.  I am an "over gluer" so that the glue wicked up the split....I doubt it will fail.

If I had had a piece of 1/2" phenolic or plastic, that would have been better.  Depending on the plastic, I might not have been able to use Gorilla glue or contact cement to bond the spacer to the mounting surface.  The Blue Seas switch can be mounted two ways.  Using the knockout enclosure  and 4 screws of just the switch....and 4 screws........that is what Monaco does, or did to mine.  

I elected to use the switch box or snap in enclosure on the back. with the knockouts removed for the cables.  There is a molded in #10 (24) recess on each corner.  So, you use a 3" 10 - 24 nut inside the recess and assemble the enclosure.....then you have about 3/4" of exposed thread.  I had prdrilled the pine for the mounting holes and used washers and lock nuts on the rear.  The 3/4" piece of glued on 5/4 deck board provided the proper offset for the extended screws.

Yes....there were some cracks in the pine....Oak, predrilled, would have been better.  But, the cracks filled with glue as the pieces were clamped, so I don't expect any further issues.  If so...I will make a mount from plastic.  The entire switch it also "zipped tied" in place so if the mount were to fail....it would be rigid enough and the enclosure would not allow the terminals to come into any contact.  That is the purpose of the back or mount enclosure and the knockouts.  If the mount fails,  I will post a picture of the new one.  For now, i have 99% confidence it ain't going anywhere.

NOW....I did finally "test it".  The slides ran great with the new house batteries....so i don't have a high resistance connection or cable or whatever to test.  If they had not, I could have tested them with the Chassis circuit....thereby determining if the issue was high resistance upstream or a bad connection or motor downstream.

Drove it back to storage....want to get out....when all this "mess" is over...

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