pthein avatar image
pthein asked

Controlling an Orion Smart TR

Doing a full system install on a boat to consist of the following.

1. Multi 12/3000

2. Ve.BMS

3. Cerbo Gx

4. Digital Multi Control

5. Orion Smart Tr 12/12/30

system will have a lead acid starting bank and a lithium house bank.

there are two charging scenarios.

1. When underway the engine alternator will provide charge to the start lead acid battery. The Orion will bring charge to the lithium bank.

2. At the dock dedicated start bank Charger will charge lead acid and the Multi will charge the lithium.


1. How do I wire the Orion to allow charge when engine running but not when battery charger is running? IE the battery chargers are running why won’t the Orion see voltage and try to connect?

2. is there a way to wire in the Load Disconnect signal from the BMS so a shutdown of the Orion could be triggered during engine running charging?

was thinking of wiring the Load disconnect and a key on signal via relays to the remote plug on the Orion... anyone have any wisdom on exactly how to wire this to accomplish the above goals of allowing charge when engine running, stopping engine charge if needed, and not connecting the start/lithium banks when battery chargers are running?.

thanks in advance.


orion-tr smart
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4 Answers
bathnm avatar image
bathnm answered ·

You can wire the BMS two the H port and the Ignition to the L port off the remote

Then configure the Orion TR Smart alternator detect to values higher than the charger and alternator.

When the L port senses > 7v (I think that is the value, details are in the Orion TR Smart Manual), it overrides the alternator detection and forces the unit on. Therefore when the engine ignition is on the Orion TR will charge..

The other option is to use a relay controlled by the ignition to make and break the BMS signal. When the engine ignition is on, the BMS signal is connected, when the engine is off the BMS signal is broken.

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pthein avatar image
pthein answered ·

I’m trying to

1. enable engine on detection

2. Disable Orion when engine off

3. Use BMS signal to shut down Orion if needed.

im pretty sure I need a relay (maybe two) in the remote connection controlled by ignition power and BMS signal...any recommendations on how to do this?

Exactly what wires to use? Will this work?.

Relay #1 closes when ignition is turned on and opens when ignition is turned off. Relay #2 opens when BMS charge disconnect goes from high voltage to float volate when it wants a charge disconnect, under normal operations relay #1 is closed with ignition on and relay #2 is also closed allowing the remote on circuit to be connected and the ignition detection of the Orion to work. If the ignition is turned off relay #1 opens and opens the remote Orion circuit. If the BMS charge disconnect goes to float with the ignition on the remote circuit opens and turns Orion off,

this would prevent battery charge from fooling the Orion into thinking the engine is running and keep house and start banks isolated during shore power charging but allow engine running charging of the house bank from the start bank when the engine is running....


relay #1 (ignition)

Pin 85 - Power from ignition

Pin 86 - ground

Pin 30 - From pin #1 of Orion remote plug

Pin 87 - to relay #2

Pin 87A -

relay #2 (BMS)

Pin 85 - Power from BMS Charge disconnect

Pin 86 - battery +

Pin 30 - from relay #1 pin 87

Pin 87 -

Pin 87A - to pin #2 of a Orion remote plug

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bathnm avatar image
bathnm answered ·

@Pthein, You do not need any relay. The manual has a diagram depicting the electric connections to make this work!

If you have an isolated Orion please look in this manual or for the non-isolated then this manual at section 4.5. Basically the BMS is connected to the H pin and Engine ignition to the L pin. Slightly more complex for the isolated version as you need the isolated remote on/off cable.

Then in the software configuration do not enable smart alternator detection.

When the Orion TR smarts see a voltage > 3v on the H pin it will operate, when the voltage drops the Orion TR will switch off. As the BMS gives a positive signal on charge enabled, the Orion TR will be on, when the BMS floats the charge enable the Orion will switch off.

When the Orion TR sees > 7v on the L pin, aka ignition is on, it will override any engine on detection based on voltage and allow the unit to operate.

Therefore to work the BMS needs to provide a signal on the charge enable and the ignition needs to be on. If either of those signals drop the unit switches off.

It does work. Read the manual and follow the instructions. The battery charger would not trigger the Orion to work as the engine ignition is off ( <7v) so L pin will not override, and in software if there is an issue set the trigger points to > 15v.

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trougnouf avatar image trougnouf commented ·

Is the engine ignition the key or there is typically a different signal available when the engine (and alternator) is actually running? If it's the former, then the starter battery will get discharged when it's needed the most.

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pthein avatar image
pthein answered ·

That definitely makes it simpler... any disadvantage of turning off the smart alternator detection?

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bathnm avatar image bathnm commented ·

Depends on what is important. All designs have an element of compromise!

If you are OK with the Orion running whenever the ignition is on then no. If you have concerns about using the prion when the alternators voltage output is low, then their maybe an issue.

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