Help with electrical system

 
 
 
 
 
 
RTV
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Help with electrical system

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Posted: 05.01.2021  ·  #1
Hi folks,

Hope you can help me diagnose this issue that I'm having... since I bought the MH, I've heard a little rattling issue coming from the passenger seat, I thought it was your typical plastic trim rattle as it would come and go and would vary on rpm.

Upon closer inspection, it's a relay clicking on the 12v side. Funny thing is, everything works but it's getting annoying and now it has turn into a constant clicking except for some rpm range.

I've been doing some tracing that that relay seems to be related to the alternator charging system as it gets both the leisure 12v and the alternator power and from there goes to the control board that feeds my control panel.

Alternator is sending a healthy 14.3v, checked all the connections and haven't seen any issues or drops it looks solid. Checked all the grounds and different connections and I either see the 12.7/8v of the leisure or the 14.3v of the alternator, the relay as I understand should close when it detects power allowing the 14.3v to charge the leisure but then open not allowing the leisure power go back to the main battery.

At the back of the van I noticed another relay that clicks at the same time which seems to be related to the 12v on the fridge, but it doesn't seem to be the fridge as if I unplug that, the clicking continues at the front. If I disconnect the power coming from the alternator the clicking stops of course. Relay doesn't seem to be the issue, tried with another one which while it was smaller in amperage, it was doing the same (have ordered a replacement just in case)

Checked all fuses, connections and all the ground wires I could fine all seems good so I'm a bit lost here... is it the control board going bad? what would it be the best way to determine this?

Good exercise to get to know my camper for sure but hope you can give me some ideas on what else to look for or test to perform to continue the process of elimination.

Cheers
Rami


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Re: Help with electrical system

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Posted: 05.01.2021  ·  #2
Put your multi meter on and run it through the revs watching the meter as the relay clicks, if the regulator is playing up on alternator it could drive the relay to click in and out

Is the fridge running on 12v?

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Re: Help with electrical system

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Posted: 05.01.2021  ·  #3
It sounds suspiciously like a split-charge relay, of the VSR type. The VSR relay detects a threshold voltage from the alternator, say 14.4 Volts. The relay then closes, to distribute power to the leisure battery. But this may load the alternator to the point of dipping below the VSR threshold, say 14.3 Volts, causing the relay to open. At this point the alternator voltage pops back up to 14.4, thereby closing the relay again. And so the cycle continues flip-flopping and results in a chattering relay. But if you have a more advanced charging system then a VSR split-charge, this might not be the case.

Is the fridge on 12V when this happens? If so, knock it off and see if the chattering stops. If so I would suspect the alternator being overloaded and the split-charge relay is in a cycle. Which relates to what Mad Max is saying above.

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Re: Help with electrical system

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Posted: 05.01.2021  ·  #4
VSR split charger relay was my initial thought but I haven't been able to find any on the usual spots, the only junction I've found so far for the alternator and leisure is the regular relay that I mentioned before which is specifically a tyco v23134-j1052-d642. Again, I've ordered a replacement just in case but using another relay didn't help at all.

Fridge comes on, does seem to flicker every now and then depending on rpm, but again if I disconnect it the clicking continues. The clicking is constant at idle and only goes a little bit quieter when I rev the engine, I'll check if the volts fluctuate much when revving. But at constant idle, I do get a constant 14.3v from the alternator which should be good enough for it not to click.

Bit of a mistery... have at least a month to figure it out as I can't go anywhere...


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Re: Help with electrical system

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Posted: 05.01.2021  ·  #5
Going through the setup on my head, I can confidently tell you guys that there's no VSR and it's just a simple relay controlling the split charge. What I'm thinking is that the problem might be coming from the signal from the alternator, that might make sense as if the voltage is stable at 14.3 the only thing making the relay close is the signal coming from the alternator.

I'll check that and report back!


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Re: Help with electrical system

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Posted: 05.01.2021  ·  #6
SORTED!!

Yes, as I was thinking that relay is the only thing I have for split charging (I feel an upgrade is due there). And basically I wasn't getting the 12v signal from the alternator was cutting off and voltage was going up and down thus making the relay opening and closing.

I traced that signal wire back to the engine back and I identified a wire split where the signal is coming from. For now I just clamped it a little bit harder and that sorted it out straight away. I'll go back and do a proper solder joint and forget all about it for good.

Cheers
Rami


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Re: Help with electrical system

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Posted: 05.01.2021  ·  #7
Quote by RTV

SORTED!!

Yes, as I was thinking that relay is the only thing I have for split charging (I feel an upgrade is due there). And basically I wasn't getting the 12v signal from the alternator was cutting off and voltage was going up and down thus making the relay opening and closing.

I traced that signal wire back to the engine back and I identified a wire split where the signal is coming from. For now I just clamped it a little bit harder and that sorted it out straight away. I'll go back and do a proper solder joint and forget all about it for good.

Cheers
Rami

Thank you for for posting an update on the fix, hopefully it will help others if a similar issue arises.


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Re: Help with electrical system

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Posted: 05.01.2021  ·  #8
So satisfying to figure it out in the end 👍


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Re: Help with electrical system

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Posted: 05.01.2021  ·  #9
Quote by StrandcampingDoonbeg

Thank you for for posting an update on the fix, hopefully it will help others if a similar issue arises.


I really hope it does, or at least makes someone else spark to click. It definitely helped me out to write it down and really put logic behind it. I can draw a little circuit if you guys think it might help others to understand how it works, it's pretty simple when you think about it but it could get a bit overwelhim when looking at the maze of cables going in and out from panels, walls and florr.

Quote by Paul mcg

So satisfying to figure it out in the end 👍


You bet! as soon as I found the cable and wiggled it a little bit and the clicking stopped was sooooooo satisfying.

Shame that I can't go anywhere to really appreciate all the other noises my 17 year old van is producing now that the clicking is gone :D :D

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Re: Help with electrical system

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Posted: 05.01.2021  ·  #10
I presume that is the D+ wire from the alternator, it can create multiple issues alright, if it is not connected correctly


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Re: Help with electrical system

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Posted: 06.01.2021  ·  #11
Quote by Daffysparks

I presume that is the D+ wire from the alternator, it can create multiple issues alright, if it is not connected correctly


That'll be the one, yup!

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Help with a different electrical system

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Posted: 02.02.2021  ·  #12
Hi folks,

Having just read through this thread it appears as this is where the expertise lies on all things electrical. I don't necessarily require a fix but more so an understanding of my own system.

We bought a 98 Hymer B544 last September and have had little to no time in it due to lockdown, no trips and no time to really test any systems. I asked the previous owner for some advice on the electric system but he didn't know.

The basics:
2 x 75 AH Leisure Batteries. Connected for the split charge from the alternator.
1 solar panel
1 inverter
Translated instructions below from German.

The questions I have are as follows:
1. Are my 2 leisure batteries charged simultaneously on EHU up as they are through the alternator?
2. Are they charged separately on EHU due to the presence of a switch connected to the Elektroblok (pictures attached). This does not seem logical for reasons of practicality, differing charge and discharge rates of leisure batteries etc.
3. Does anyone know what the other two flip switches are below the main switch? Is this a needlessly complicated system?
4. The translated instructions suggest that only one battery is charged while on EHU. I wonder is this a translation niggle and does it mean that one battery received the charge first (selected by the switch) and it is then transferred to the other battery.

As I said, nothing to fix really but would like to know my system and make sure it is being used as efficiently as possible.

Thanks in advance for any ideas or thoughts you might have.

All the best,

Eamonn.

Translation:

Handling of the 2 on-board batteries.

1. Battery A under the driver's seat, battery B under the passenger seat, marked, 75AH gel each.

1a. Capacity 2 x 75 AH gel Batteries but only one battery for consumers, selection via main switch except for points 1b and and 1c below.
1b. Battery A permanently wired with voltage converter 230 v / 220 w.
1c. Battery A permanently wired with a 12 V socket in the TV cabinet, fuse on the battery.

2. Charging the Batteries
2a. Charge via alternator, engine is running. Always both battery A and battery B regardless of all switch positions.
2b. Charging via charger always only one battery A or battery B selection at the main switch H.
That means only one battery is charged and the charger also feeds the consumers.
2c. Charge via solar modules only one battery A or B selection at the solar switch. When charging via solar, battery A can be charged and battery B can be used for electricity. Or vice versa, it is also possible to charge battery A or B and draw power at the same time.

3. Battery Voltage
3a. Selection via switch display, battery A or battery B, both batteries are measured separately. Fuse at the battery.
3b. The current from solar modules cannot be measured, only the voltage, at 14v a good value.

 
 
 


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Re: Help with electrical system

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Posted: 02.02.2021  ·  #13
1. Apart from the two small switches shown beside the larger switch are there further switches which you refer to as

Solar selection.
Battery voltage selection..

If not the two small switches may be as above

2. Assuming you can access the battery terminals and have a multimeter. Do these tests when it is dark or through a blanket over the solar panel.

A) stop the engine
B) with the EHU available but not switched on measure the battery voltage at each battery terminal. Record the results
C) with the EHU switched and the main switch in position A repeat measurement at each battery terminal and record the result
D) repeat with the main switch in position B

Advise your findings, we can then go to next step


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Re: Help with electrical system

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Posted: 02.02.2021  ·  #14
The shortest answer here would be: you need a multimeter in your life. That'll tell you all you need to know :)


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Re: Help with electrical system

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Posted: 03.02.2021  ·  #15
I think the system classes it as one battery because they are parallel if you had 4 batteries it would still class it as one battery simplifies the diagram 12v


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Re: Help with electrical system

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Posted: 07.02.2021  ·  #16
Hi all and thanks for the replies.

Having discussed the setup with a barge dwelling buddy of mine we came up with a possible explanation.

1. Both leisure batteries are only charged together from the alternator in a spit charge set up.

2. The large switch selects which leisure battery is charged when on EHU.

3. One of the smaller switches selects which leisure battery is charged form the solar set up.

4. The other small switch allows you to select which leisure battery's voltage is displayed on the over door panel. A rocker switch on the panel measures the voltage in the engine battery and the selected leisure battery.

4. Both leisure batteries are used simultaneously on two separate circuits to power all plugs, lights, pumps etc. The batteries are not connected as one power source, again we think they are on two separate circuits.

Unfortunately due to lockdown I can't get near the van to test our theory with a multimeter. If my theory falls flat I will certainly try your suggestions above and report back.

Practically speaking I would have hoped that both batteries would charge on EHU and from the solar.

Time will tell. Many thanks.

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Re: Help with electrical system

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Posted: 08.02.2021  ·  #17
Tbh that’s what it sounded like to me also.
Good luck with it


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