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Inverter / Charger issue


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Hello. 

   I'm having some issues with my Trace Inverter / Charger.  I'm a newbie so please bear with me with my wording. I own a 2002 Monaco Windsor

A month ago I replaced my batteries, chassis and house. My house batteries consist of 4 6v deep cycle batteries wired in parallel series. I have an Amp-L-Start Battery Charger Maintainer as well. The Trace inverter has an RC7 remote. I also use an RV-30D Charge Control that shows me what the voltage coming from the house and chassis batteries are. 

My issue starts after I disconnect from shore power. Once disconnected my Charge Control will show the batteries at 13.4 or.5 .. I'll sit and watch as the voltage drops. I have a residential fridge and a few lights on. The voltage will start to drop within minutes .. Unless I'm in direct sunlight as I have 1 solar panel up top. The RC7 remote for the Trace is set to auto start the generator at 12.2V .. It will run till the batteries come to float then kick off .. That process repeats as long as I'm disconnected from shore power .. However, when the remote shows the batteries at 12.2 the generator fails to start. not even a crank. Just nothing. The remote reads 'Starter Cool Down' but the started never even tried. I can set the remote to 'Manual Start' and it still will not start with the on/off button on the remote. Mond you, it used to... When I start the generator from the toggle on the dash it will start right up, the converter will switch over and I'll have full power. . . .I had a local tech look at it .. The batteries are good. The Amp-L-Start is acting normally but the Converter Charger is showing a fault code to the generator ... Our next step is to check the data cable from the Trace to the remote and see if there is continuity for all thew wires in the cable. 

One thing I forgot to mention .. The tech told me they saw a code that signified a fault between converter and generator. I didn't see it yet.

This is a frustrating situation. Has anyone ever had this problem?

 

Thank you 

Lenny D 

Trace RV Inverter.pdf Amp-L-Start Instructions.pdf Trace RC7-GS Remote.pdf

Edited by Lenny D
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Normal!

Anything above 12.7v is called 'surface charge'. Even with nothing drawing from the batteries, that surface charge will drop to full charged batteries (12.7v), usually within an hour after removing charge source.

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I am assuming your four 6v batteries are lead-acid… (not agm or lithium)

The charger was maintaining the float charge of 13.5. (The solar will try to keep it these too).  The batteries will slowly drop until they get to  about 12.6.

https://www.rvtechlibrary.com/battery/bat_volts.php
 

has a nice chart. You are still 100% full at 12.6.  

it should take a long time to get to the lower voltages. 
 

I can’t help you with the auto start stuff. 
I replaced my Trace with a Victron just after I bought my rig- it was having issues. 
 

Good Luck

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5 minutes ago, MurrayD said:

Had same issue with remote unable to start generator. Simple fix was to raise my start voltage from 12 to 12.2, yours is already 12.2, try going higher to see if that is the issue.

I'm going to try this. thanks

 

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44 minutes ago, MurrayD said:

Had same issue with remote unable to start generator. Simple fix was to raise my start voltage from 12 to 12.2, yours is already 12.2, try going higher to see if that is the issue.

I fixed that issue with a simple rewire, so the gen get's it's starting power from the chassis bank.

Didn't want my gen starting every morning I fired up the coffee maker. Now I have the AGS set to start the gen when the house bank drops to 11.9v.

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Generic answer and some "maybes"

My experience is mostly Magnum, but the concepts are the same.  Couple of things to look at and then "let it sink in"

Turn OFF the Auto Gen Start....

Now let the batteries charge up.  YES, they will have a surface charge.  The Auto Start will not work, as you know, plugged in.  SO...as someone stated, you start to put a real load on the Batteries.  Cover your solar or pull the fuse on the controller or find the lead to the "House Battery" on the controller and disconnect.  That eliminates the solar...which can be confusing.

OK....now you need to knock off the surface charge.  Turn on an exhaust fans.  Let the run.  Watch the voltage.  It will drop down quickly and then stabilize... NOTE, when you see the voltage at 12.7 or so on the remote, then that is the  "theoretical" 100% FULLY Charged (when the batteries are NEW. NOW...watch it if it keeps dropping quickly, then what is the voltage when it stops and just stabilizes and it takes a long time for the next 0.1 drop.  Record that.  Go outside with a VOM and measure the House Bank.  It is NOT uncommon for a Remote on an inverter to read 0.10 -0.20 LOWER than the actual battery voltage.  BUT, if it is stable...then if you turn OFF the fan and read the batteries...that is the "I am charged up to the BEST I will ever be".  In other words, a NEW battery will charge back up to 100%, but time and abuse and whatever harms the cells and they will not charge back to 100%...  The Trojan chart tells you how much REAL amp hours or percent of theoretical charge you have....based on knocking off the surface charge.  SO, if you, rule of thumb, don't charge back up to but 40%, then time for new ones..

OK....I KNOW that does NOT answer your question.  BUT, you have to understand WHEN and actually the Voltage that they should come on.  On the Magnums, if you set the ON VDC at 11.9 VDC, then the auto start will come on around 12.0/12.1 or so.  The Remote controls the ON signal and it might have to stay at that number for a minute or so.  Most folks think that the Remote reads the Battery Voltage....it does....but with Line losses, the remote will always read lower.  SO, if you want your genny to start at 50% SOC....which is 12.10, you have to LOWER that number so that when the remote gives the signal....the batteries are actually there.  In other words, you COMPENSATE for the voltage drop.  If you don't, and then set it at say 60%...you are seriously impairing the life of the batteries by charging too often.  SO, the RULE of THUMB is never drop below 50%....then make sure the Remote is set to a number that reflects 50% at the battery.  Now, in theory....the batteries, depending on load, will actually "pop back" if you took off the load so 11.8/11.9 is safe (for the Magnum eror).

OK....BACK ON POINT.  I do NOT think that changing the ON voltage is necessary.  The ONLY way you can test that is to set it to say 11.9.  Then you put ON a steady load....and if it does NOT start....but the Genny cranks Manually, there is a "fault" or issue with either your AGS or Remote or the interconnections.

The Genny has a harness that runs to the AGS.  These get wet or corroded.  Find that connection.  Clean the contacts and RESEAT them.  

The other "fix" is to remove shore and solar power.  Then disconnect the battery leads on the back of the Inverter.....let it sit for an hour or so.  That will sometimes chase out the electronic gremlin in the Inverter.  Magnum has a two step process for a SOFT and HARD (if the Soft failed) RESET.  
Now...you MAY or will have to get the ERROR CODE.  That is where you need 

 

battery-state-of-charge-chart.pdf

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If this problem started after you replaced all of the batteries I would start there. Check the cables to make sure they are still good. Check to make sure they are wired correctly. Check the cut off switch.  There may be a circuit breaker issue as well.

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On 1/13/2023 at 4:55 PM, Tom Cherry said:

Generic answer and some "maybes"

My experience is mostly Magnum, but the concepts are the same.  Couple of things to look at and then "let it sink in"

Turn OFF the Auto Gen Start....

Now let the batteries charge up.  YES, they will have a surface charge.  The Auto Start will not work, as you know, plugged in.  SO...as someone stated, you start to put a real load on the Batteries.  Cover your solar or pull the fuse on the controller or find the lead to the "House Battery" on the controller and disconnect.  That eliminates the solar...which can be confusing.

OK....now you need to knock off the surface charge.  Turn on an exhaust fans.  Let the run.  Watch the voltage.  It will drop down quickly and then stabilize... NOTE, when you see the voltage at 12.7 or so on the remote, then that is the  "theoretical" 100% FULLY Charged (when the batteries are NEW. NOW...watch it if it keeps dropping quickly, then what is the voltage when it stops and just stabilizes and it takes a long time for the next 0.1 drop.  Record that.  Go outside with a VOM and measure the House Bank.  It is NOT uncommon for a Remote on an inverter to read 0.10 -0.20 LOWER than the actual battery voltage.  BUT, if it is stable...then if you turn OFF the fan and read the batteries...that is the "I am charged up to the BEST I will ever be".  In other words, a NEW battery will charge back up to 100%, but time and abuse and whatever harms the cells and they will not charge back to 100%...  The Trojan chart tells you how much REAL amp hours or percent of theoretical charge you have....based on knocking off the surface charge.  SO, if you, rule of thumb, don't charge back up to but 40%, then time for new ones..

OK....I KNOW that does NOT answer your question.  BUT, you have to understand WHEN and actually the Voltage that they should come on.  On the Magnums, if you set the ON VDC at 11.9 VDC, then the auto start will come on around 12.0/12.1 or so.  The Remote controls the ON signal and it might have to stay at that number for a minute or so.  Most folks think that the Remote reads the Battery Voltage....it does....but with Line losses, the remote will always read lower.  SO, if you want your genny to start at 50% SOC....which is 12.10, you have to LOWER that number so that when the remote gives the signal....the batteries are actually there.  In other words, you COMPENSATE for the voltage drop.  If you don't, and then set it at say 60%...you are seriously impairing the life of the batteries by charging too often.  SO, the RULE of THUMB is never drop below 50%....then make sure the Remote is set to a number that reflects 50% at the battery.  Now, in theory....the batteries, depending on load, will actually "pop back" if you took off the load so 11.8/11.9 is safe (for the Magnum eror).

OK....BACK ON POINT.  I do NOT think that changing the ON voltage is necessary.  The ONLY way you can test that is to set it to say 11.9.  Then you put ON a steady load....and if it does NOT start....but the Genny cranks Manually, there is a "fault" or issue with either your AGS or Remote or the interconnections.

The Genny has a harness that runs to the AGS.  These get wet or corroded.  Find that connection.  Clean the contacts and RESEAT them.  

The other "fix" is to remove shore and solar power.  Then disconnect the battery leads on the back of the Inverter.....let it sit for an hour or so.  That will sometimes chase out the electronic gremlin in the Inverter.  Magnum has a two step process for a SOFT and HARD (if the Soft failed) RESET.  
Now...you MAY or will have to get the ERROR CODE.  That is where you need 

 

battery-state-of-charge-chart.pdf 1.45 MB · 7 downloads

Thank you very much Tom. A lot of your answer I did not fully understand due to lack of knowledge but this is something I can show to my tech .. Actually your last few paragraphs were something I understood. You wrote 

".....if it does NOT start....but the Genny cranks Manually, there is a "fault" or issue with either your AGS or Remote or the interconnections." ... This is kinda where I'm at. On my remote, when I had it set to 'Manual Start' , I used to be able to press the 'ON' button on my remote and the generator would crank and start. It no longer does that. HOWEVER .. When I press the toggle to start it (I have two toggles. Front dash and bedroom next to my bed.) it will crank and start no problem. This made me think that there is a communication problem between the Trace and the genny. We haven't tested the data line yet.

AND

"The Genny has a harness that runs to the AGS.  These get wet or corroded.  Find that connection.  Clean the contacts and RESEAT them."  .. The previous owner suggested this as well. Cleaning the harness connections. I'll just need to find them. For that I can call the previous owner. After owing this coach for 18yrs his knowledge on it has been such a huge help to me. 

I'm definitely leaning towards either one of these issues. Communication or connection ... One small tid bit of information I left out was I had the coach in a body shop for 9 weeks .. They left it out in their yard for 7 of those weeks without so much as starting it up once or twice a week. They never shut off the batteries either. They used a battery pack and jumped it a bunch of times. We had to jump it when I went to pick it up. We had to jump the chassis battery to get the motor started and the house to get the genny started. They used one of those portable battery packs to do this. After driving it home (1.5 hrs) the battery never charged .. I decided to get a new chassis battery since mine was 5 yrs old. When I went to turn off the GUEST switch it was ceased .. I removed it to replace it and there was a visible melted area between the posts on the back ... I keep wondering if they cooked something else as well. 

Thank you for your time and your diagnosis .. I will left my tech read it when I see him again. 

LD 

 

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Here is my take. Since you can start the generator from the rocker switch, the batteries are not a suspect.

Because you see 'Starter Cooldown' message, that indicates that start was attempted but timed out. Obviously the signal did not make it to the genny. It could potentially be an issue with data cable but not likely since it is used for all the other messaging that appears to work. You can however simply unplug and plug the yellow data cable (not the temp sensor) at the inverter and that will reboot the remote in case it was confused. 

If that does not help, there is likely a disconnect somewhere between the inverter and generator, hard to tell where but the signal is coming from a terminal block on side of inverter where it can be checked once the little cover is removed. Look for a positive signal on start and stop leads when remote is operated. There are also supposed to be fuses for the Start and Stop signals but I can't tell you if and where they are. Can you stop the generator from remote when running? Any change when you wiggle the big connector on passenger side of generator?

One more thing, make sure that generator type is set to Onan in the remote menu and time is set.

Screenshot_20230117_170234_Office.jpg

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