AGS will start but not stop the Generator
AGS Problem: Not Allowing Generator to shut down, July 2016
Notes by Gordon Sick, August 2016
When we got our 2015 Berkshire 34QS RV, the Auto Gen Start (AGS) wouldn’t work: it failed the connection tests. After some correspondence with Mike at the Diesel Division, he said we should take it in and he gave us an extended warranty, since we were out of the extended warranty period. Thanks to Mike for that great support.
The Dealer said there was a loose wire and they reconnected it. Now, I’m wondering whether they reconnected it properly, so I’m interested in the experience of other users. As a short story, the AGS will start the Generator before the AC comes on, but it won’t go off, even when it is set to turn off after 0.5 hours. It seems to me that the condition that autostarts the Generator persists even after the air conditioners are finished. So, maybe the autostart isn’t hooked up properly.
Here are the details of what I’ve done to hone in on the problem.
My AGS-N is attached to a Magnum ME-RC remote. I have a 6kW Quiet Diesel Onan Generator and a Magnum ME2012 Inverter/Charger with a 2kW capacity.
I used the ME-RC remote to reset the AGS to:
• factory defaults
• then I set the run time to 0.5 hours
• set the Temp to Ext Input
• left the AGS in its default RV mode
• left the default voltage for turning on the Generator, which I believe is 11.0 volts, and my batteries are above this voltage, unless trying to start the AC.
• Then I set the Dometic 2-zone Thermostat so that the air conditioners would come on.The Generator started, then the ACs came on. And, the Generator was also Bulk charging the batteries 13.2v@83 amps. I believe this is the behaviour that I should get, after reading the manuals.
• The AC went off and the Generator continued to run for over 1.0 hour, bulk charging. This is beyond the 0.5 hours that I had set. This should not happen, from my reading of the manuals.
• I turned the Generator off at the panel by the Driver seat.
• The ME-RC remote said that the AGS status is "Locked Out". I believe this is what it is supposed to do if in RV mode.
• In this locked out mode, the Generator would not autostart when the ACs Thermostats were set to a lower temperature than the inside temperature. Again, I believe this is what should happen in the Locked Out mode.
So, the big issue is that the Generator won’t stop as expected in RV mode. I have to stop it manually, and then it won’t autostart.
So, I switched the AGS to "Other" mode to prevent the AGS from going into the Locked Out status. Everything else is as above.
• I set the Thermostats so that the Generator would come on.
• The Generator auto started and then the AC units came on.
• Then I set the threshold temperature higher so that the AC units should stop.
• The AC units stopped, as expected.
• The Generator continued to run for over 1.0 hours, even though it was set to turn off after 0.5 hours. This is not what the manual says should happen.
• I turned off the Generator at the control panel by the driver and it stopped.
• After a minute, the Generator auto started, but the air conditioners didn’t come on, since I hadn’t get them to a temperature where they should start.
• Every time I turned off the Generator, it auto started even though the voltage was OK and the air conditioners weren’t set to come on.
Here is the information in the ME-RC diagnostic panel for the AGS:
01 Temperature AGS: Ext On
Inverter Rev 5.4
03 Inv Model
05 Ext Control
VAC Dropout: INT
Charge Rate: INT
Shore Max: INT
So, I have the following questions:
▪ Is this the behaviour that other people get with a similar Generator and AGS?
▪ What is the item that sets the Ext Input to work on the temperature? Does it come from the Thermostat or the Air Conditioners or what?
▪ The ME-RC manual suggests setting the AGS so that it starts on low voltage. In other words, the AC would come on using the Inverter. Then the low voltage would cause the Generator to start. In theory, this should work, because the inverter can generate 2kW continuously and 3kW as a peak, which is way more than an AC needs to start. And I gave the AC units different temperatures, so that they wouldn’t try to start together. But, maybe the 4 Golf Cart batteries aren’t up to starting this way, because it does result in me getting an E7 error code on the Thermostat and I have to restart the Thermostat to get anything to work.
Based on your answers, I’ll go back to Forest River to fix the problem if it seems abnormal. According to the instruction manuals, this is abnormal behaviour.
–cheers, Gordon Sick
Gordon Sick, Calgary
2015 Berkshire 34QS
2005 Acura EL (aka Honda Civic)