drizzt321 avatar image
drizzt321 asked

Trouble with Orion Tr 12/12-18a isolated Smart

Car: 2016 Volvo V60 (presume I have a smart alternator)

7-pin is dealer installed

Brake controller is 3rd party installed, although a VERY reputable local chain (Eckharts)

Victron equipment & setup:

Battleborn 100Ah LiFePO4 12v

BMV-712 with temp sensor

SmartSolar MPPT 150/40 (solar panels are ground mount, 400W of '12v' panels)

Orion-Tr Smart 12/12-18 Isolated

63a dual position non-polarity breaker between battery and bus-bars

40a dual position breaker (to isolate for connect/disconnect) between solar incoming and SmartSolar

25a dual position breaker between 7-pin 12v power and input on Orion-Tr

I've had the SmartSolar & BMV-712 working just fine, today I went to hook up the Orion to the junction box on my 7-pin from the tow vehicle, After reading the docs, I isolated my battery from everything else (bus bars, distribution fuses, Orion/SmartSolar), connected my car and turned it on, then went into the trailer and flipped the breaker from the car to the Orion.

Powered up as I'd expect, I hooked up through the Victron app, changed the PIN, set it to Charger mode and put in my battery specs. Made sure everything was saved, looked good, and then flipped the battery breaker. The Orion seemed to see the battery, but wouldn't charge even though the measured voltage (13.NNv if I recall correctly) was well above the 12.5v disconnect threshold.

I start checking the SmartSolar and BMV-712, those seem fine. Go to switch back to the Orion, but I can't connect in the Victron app, and it appears to be off! Very strange. I measure the voltage across the 7-pin side of the breaker, get a weird reading, like 2-3v or something. Very strange.

I go through a few rounds of turning off the car, turning it on, the Orion powers up and I can connect to it, once I see it saying Bulk Charging, but then switches to not-charging, and then disappears again.

So, could this be a bad Orion? Could the brake controller folks installed something wrong? I have one of these cheapo 7-pin tester, and says the 12v is connected fine.

Thoughts? More troubleshooting I can do?

orion-tr smart
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2 Answers
kevgermany avatar image
kevgermany answered ·

What battery settings are in the Orion?

How did you set up the engine start/stop detect?

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drizzt321 avatar image
drizzt321 answered ·

Battery settings are what Battleborn recommends, 14.6V bulk, 13.5V float.

The engine start/stop settings are on, but defaults.

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kevgermany avatar image kevgermany ♦♦ commented ·

Probably the auto detection isn't set up properly. Measure the voltage you're getting at the Orion with the engine running. And off. Set the start voltage between those values. There's a pdf about setting this up, linked to from the product page on the victron web site.

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drizzt321 avatar image drizzt321 kevgermany ♦♦ commented ·
I'll look into that further when I'm at the trailer next. But should it be powered up and available in the app when connected to the battery, but not to the car? Or should it only be powered up when connected to the car?
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kevgermany avatar image kevgermany ♦♦ drizzt321 commented ·
It's Bluetooth. As long as it has power it should be visible in the app, saying it's turned off.
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drizzt321 avatar image drizzt321 kevgermany ♦♦ commented ·
So if it's got a battery connection on the output, but nothing hooked up to the input, it should still power on at least? That's not happening with mine. Only powers on when connected to the tow vehicle power.
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drizzt321 avatar image drizzt321 kevgermany ♦♦ commented ·
So I'm starting to think the stupid OEM tow package is the problem. I need to look at it from underneath, but I think the OEM setup (even after the brake controller was installed) was for the charge/12v+ pin to go to their black box (maybe just junction, unsure) of some kind. I suspect it's hitting some kind of thermal resettable fuse, and of COURSE the car manufacturer doesn't list that anywhere, and the dealer is clueless about it. And there's no reaching their "owner support" number only can search what's on their website/etc, and can't escalate upwards.

Anyways, if I have the time I might just see if the brake controller hot wire from the battery is right by the 7-pin, and if so, I might just by-pass the 7-pin and run my own wire (disconnect via Anderson) along the 7-pin to the junction box and use that power instead. Has an inline ATC fuse holder on that line already, so I'll set it to 25a fuse, and see if things behave properly. According to specs should be 12awg on the 7-pin, but doesn't mean that's what's running to the 7-pin on the car *sigh* But even if it's 14awg should still be enough for 18a even with the long-ish run.

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