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Strip Lights turned on from ignition?

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Rein

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Strip Lights turned on from ignition?
« on: July 26, 2022, 10:14:14 am »
On my 2552, the strip lights over the beds, sofa and cabinets beside the door are turned on when I start the engine.  This happens despite the battery switch by the door being in the OFF position.
I don't want to drive with the lights on, and it is a pain to start the engine and then turn them all off.
Any ideas what is going on here and how to stop ignition turning on the lights?
Thanks.

Rein

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mikeh

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Re: Strip Lights turned on from ignition?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2022, 11:33:59 am »
Rein--
This same question recently surfaced on the Phoenix Cruiser Travel Club Facebook Page discussion.
Below is the answer I posted to the question there:

"I can give you the technical answer--but not a simple solution. In my 2019 2552 those four "capacitive-touch" lamps will come on if I switch my main battery disconnect from "Off" to "On"--but only if the engine is dead. They will also come on if I start the engine--but only if the main battery switch is "Off". In both cases, the issue is caused by "RFI" (Radio Frequency Interference) energy---caused by the punch from the power surge when 12-volts is first applied to that dead circuit. The sensing circuits on those lamps typically use a "floating gate FET circuit"--very high impedance input and extremely sensitive to RFI and electrostatic fields. Not only RVers, but also household users of capacitive-touch lamps commonly report "self-turn-on" issues, since many things used in the home can generate RFI. One way to eliminate the issue would be to replace the "touch lamps" with ones using mechanical switches."

In addition, if your main battery switch is left "ON" instead of "Off"--the circuit will be already powered and will not experience a power surge when you start the engine, which should prevent the lights from turning on (does in my coach).

Mike

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Engineerlt

Re: Strip Lights turned on from ignition?
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2022, 08:32:10 pm »
Hello Rein
This is why it happens, it is because of what Mike said as for why the lights themselves come on, but the surge of power comes from the solenoid located under the coolant overflow bottle under the hood. It closes when you start the coach. That is what allows the alternator to charge the coach batteries. It is not tied into the batteries directly but it goes to your 12V side of your power distribution panel. So it also does not go through the 12V battery switch. So that is how the lights get the surge of power that causes the "RFI".  You can disconnect the power lead at the solenoid from the ignition and it will stop the solenoid from closing when the coach is started. I attached a drawing of that solenoid located under the hood.  I just noticed my drawing says to house battery that should actually say to power distribution panel 12V side

Very Respectfully
Lance
« Last Edit: July 26, 2022, 08:34:59 pm by Engineerlt »

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donc13

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Re: Strip Lights turned on from ignition?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2022, 07:59:13 am »
On my 2552, the strip lights over the beds, sofa and cabinets beside the door are turned on when I start the engine.  This happens despite the battery switch by the door being in the OFF position.
I don't want to drive with the lights on, and it is a pain to start the engine and then turn them all off.
Any ideas what is going on here and how to stop ignition turning on the lights?
Thanks.

Rein

You don't want to disconnect the charging line from the engine to the 12v panel because your coach batteries won't charge while driving.  The battery disconnect switch is typically only turned off when the coach is in storage.
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Engineerlt

Re: Strip Lights turned on from ignition?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2022, 08:26:12 am »
Hello DONC13

You are absolutely correct, not sure why Rein was traveling with the house batteries off to start with. However in my case I have disconnected the solenoid so it won't charge the chassis batteries from the alternator. I did this as I am installing a DC to DC charger to to take care of the charging the house batteries. The lithium conversion is taking longer than anticipated. I hope its worth it.

Very Respectfully
Lance

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Rein

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Re: Strip Lights turned on from ignition?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2022, 10:35:54 am »
Thanks for the information. 
When my Phoenix comes out of storage the battery switch is off.
I should enter the coach, turn on the switch, turn off the lights, then start the engine and drive away.

Rein

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donc13

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Re: Strip Lights turned on from ignition?
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2022, 12:05:29 pm »
Thanks for the information. 
When my Phoenix comes out of storage the battery switch is off.
I should enter the coach, turn on the switch, turn off the lights, then start the engine and drive away.

Rein

Sounds reasonable to me.

An alternative, one that I use is to have a knife switch on the engine battery negative terminal.  Going into storage I open that knife switch and then remove the house battery negative line.  That way, neither the engine nor the house batteries get any parasitic draw while in storage.

Taking out of storage, I reverse the procedure, I reconnect the negative line to the house batteries (it may lightly spark when you touch the negative wire to the battery terminal) and then close the knife switch to the engine battery.  I then make sure battery cutout solenoid is ON.  Start the engine and away I go.

On the newer PC's the battery cutout switch is an actual switch, not a solenoid so in your case, you shouldn't have to check it.
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parkgt

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Re: Strip Lights turned on from ignition?
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2022, 11:00:45 pm »
Thanks for the information. 
When my Phoenix comes out of storage the battery switch is off.
I should enter the coach, turn on the switch, turn off the lights, then start the engine and drive away.

Rein


On the newer PC's the battery cutout switch is an actual switch, not a solenoid so in your case, you shouldn't have to check it.

How new are you you meaning, my 2018 has both a switch and the solenoid Lance referred to?
« Last Edit: July 29, 2022, 01:01:14 pm by parkgt »

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donc13

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Re: Strip Lights turned on from ignition?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2022, 06:32:07 am »
Those are 2 different things.  The solenoid under the radiator antifreeze tank is in all Phoenix Cruisers.  The battery cutoff switch in the side entryway used to be a small switch that activated a solenoid by the house battery tray.  In the newer models (I *believe* starting with 2018 model year) that switch is a large rotary switch that conndcts/disconnects the house batteries from the coach.

In the old battery cutoff switch, not all power from the house batteries was cut off.  For example, the CO/Propane warning system stayed on in the old system.  I *believe" the new rotary switch cuts all power from the house batteries including that CO/Propane warning system.

I have the old system on my 2015 model 2551.  I have not actually been in a coach with the new system.

For what it's worth, the solenoid under the radiator antifreeze tank in the engine compartment acts as the "isolator" between the engine battery and the coach batteries so with the engine off, you can't run down the engine battery by using 12v power in the coach.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2022, 06:44:19 am by donc13 »
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Engineerlt

Re: Strip Lights turned on from ignition?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2022, 10:58:53 am »
Hello DONC13
I think you have your switches confused. The white switch on the dash is the one that manually controls the solenoid under the coolant overflow bottle. That  solenoid also acts as the battery isolator so when you start the coach the alternator can charge the house battery. This charging circuit however does not go through battery cutoff switch by the door. So if you have the battery switch off and start the coach it sends 12V power back to the 12V electrical distribution panel and that is how Rein's lights were lighting up (when he had the 12V battery disconnect switch open). All you have to do is turn off your battery switch start the engine and check for 12V at the 12V power distribution panel. You will have voltage.... Then if you want to go one step further, disconnect the yellow wire with the red stripe from the solenoid under the coolant overflow bottle and try it again.... No voltage at the 12V power distribution panel. You are correct that the propane/CO2 sensor gets power from the 12V power distribution panel on newer coaches, like my 2017, it actually has a 3 amp fuse.

Very Respectfully
Lance

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donc13

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Re: Strip Lights turned on from ignition?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2022, 03:05:16 pm »
Hello DONC13
I think you have your switches confused. The white switch on the dash is the one that manually controls the solenoid under the coolant overflow bottle. That  solenoid also acts as the battery isolator so when you start the coach the alternator can charge the house battery. This charging circuit however does not go through battery cutoff switch by the door. So if you have the battery switch off and start the coach it sends 12V power back to the 12V electrical distribution panel and that is how Rein's lights were lighting up (when he had the 12V battery disconnect switch open). All you have to do is turn off your battery switch start the engine and check for 12V at the 12V power distribution panel. You will have voltage.... Then if you want to go one step further, disconnect the yellow wire with the red stripe from the solenoid under the coolant overflow bottle and try it again.... No voltage at the 12V power distribution panel. You are correct that the propane/CO2 sensor gets power from the 12V power distribution panel on newer coaches, like my 2017, it actually has a 3 amp fuse.

Very Respectfully
Lance

Nope... Didn't say anything about the switch on the dash by the steering wheel.  That is only of value when the engine battery is too discharged to crank the engine.  If that switch is "activated" a 5amp line from the coach batteries to the engine battery is connected thus "trickle charging" the engine battery.  While that dash switch, I believe, is still installed in newer coaches, PC started putting in Trik-l-Start into all PC's starting in 2017 I believe which eliminates the need for the white switch on the dash by the steering wheel.

That solenoid under the overflow tank in the engine compartment functions simply as a battery isolator... Open when the engine is off or in accessories position and closed when the engine is running.  Yes, the Trik-l-Start "bypasses" it when needed based on coach battery and engine battery voltages.

I tried that white switch once when I was parked for 2 weeks in my son's driveway in Canada and due to my own fault, I had left a small 75 watt inverter plugged in the whole time!  Almost totally drained the engine battery.  I activated that white switch (I was plugged into shore power the whole time) and waited 1/2 an hour and tried to start the engine... Nada!  And the 5amp fuse blew.  Had to use a real 15a  car battery charger fo overnight to get the engine started.  Last time I ever tried that switch.  Bought the Trik-l-Start after that.

Also, in that line from the solenoid to the 12v distribution panel, there is a 40a self resetting circuit breaker that can just plain quit every few years.  They're cheap and easy to replace and the only way you'll know it's dead is if your coach batteries don't charge while driving.  I check that by leaving the inverter on.  If, after a hour or so worth of driving isn't over 12.8v, that circuit breaker is DOA.  I carry a spare.

And just as respectfully submitted,
Don
« Last Edit: July 31, 2022, 03:07:48 pm by donc13 »
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