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Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?


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  #1  
Old 09-16-2013, 07:31:04 PM
imorton imorton is offline
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Default Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

Hi Guys, maybe someone here can guide me to troubleshoot my unit a 4Kw Onan BGE-F unit.

It has been running fairly well for the last year and I run it every two weeks to keep it active. Today I went to start it at the start switch "on" the unit and nothing would happen… hmmmm

I go inside the RV and hit the "remote" start switch on the dash and it runs…

I decided to take off the control unit (300-3056 revG) and bring it indoors to test it. Doing a continuity test, the start switch is good…

I am stumped as to what it could be, since the unit starts and runs fine from inside the RV but does "nothing" when I hit the start button on the Onan unit itself.

Does anyone have any ideas what my next steps should be?

I really appreciate your help as I'm stumped, IAN…

PS: I have the service manual 965-0528 but I don't see anything about testing the control board. I went to FlightSystems, and their troubleshooting sheet says to test the switch, and if it works, change the board. Doesn't make sense changing the board if the inside switch in the RV works…?
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2013, 07:48:58 PM
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Default Re: Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

I wouldn't change that board. I have the nhm and it starts a little better from inside or the gen I can't remember which. Its a connection somewhere. You may try some contact spray cleaner. I believe it was max that had a gen he tried to get running and went through all the connections no go. He got part of the harness new and it started running.
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:55:16 PM
Max Thompson Max Thompson is offline
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Default Re: Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

Check the switch first. The switch on the unit & the remote switch perform the same functions. You can pull the wires off the back of the switch on the unit & “jumper” between them to see if it is the switch or a connection that is the problem.
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:03:01 PM
len k len k is online now
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Default Re: Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

The 2 start stop switches are just wired in parelle. If gen start/stops from remote switch then board switch is intermitant. Dirty contacts inside switch or maybe it's been wacked and solder joints from switch to board broke and are loose. Doen't remember if switch is open or closed design, if open can try compressed air and contact cleaner.

Problem with contact cleaner is they are usually oily and later it will attract dirt.
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:53:56 PM
imorton imorton is offline
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Default Re: Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

Gentleman, Kpack, Max Thompson, len k, thank you so very much for your replies…. Makes me feel much better knowing that I am not alone…

I will have to try your ideas, and will post as soon as possible (daylight)

I tried to test the continuity of the switch, I put my VOM probe on the center pin, and checked continuity to both sides, start/stop, and it appears to work like all other switches I have tested before in my life.

Now while looking at the board, I "think" I see a few parts (maybe diodes) that are swollen/defective… mind you I could be wrong since my circuit board knowledge is limited.

I have attached three photos, maybe someone more knowledgable can have a look? It looks like CR2 and CR3 look very different than CR4 or CR5 (which I think are good)

How do I test the diodes with a digital voltmeter?

If it is the diodes, does RadioShack have these? I don't even know what diode specs to look for..

Thanks for looking, IAN…

PS: kind of strange that the board still allows the inside remote switch to start the genny?
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  #6  
Old 09-16-2013, 09:21:19 PM
len k len k is online now
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Default Re: Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

Second picture cr2 looks normal. It's just a different manufacturer's style of diode.
Same with cr3 in third picture.

IF remote switch operates normally then circuit board component are good.
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:46:16 PM
imorton imorton is offline
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Default Re: Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by len k View Post
Second picture cr2 looks normal. It's just a different manufacturer's style of diode.
Same with cr3 in third picture.

IF remote switch operates normally then circuit board component are good.
Hmmmm, good to know that the CR2 and CR3 are not defective. DO you know what they are, diodes, resistors, etc.. maybe I could test them with a VOM?

Now, the inside Start Switch starts the generator, and the switch on the PC board is in parallel, so I wonder what it could be from here. hmmmm…
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:00:53 PM
len k len k is online now
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Default Re: Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

Definately diodes, possiably zener diodes. No testing needed if gen works normally from remote.
Can look on schematic of service manual for cr2 cr3.
Can't get to my manuals today, harddrive died.

Normally you would replace switch, can try fixing it, contact cleaner.
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:28:51 PM
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Default Re: Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

Here you go Len k.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/j803a3uux2...20thrsermf.pdf
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Old 09-17-2013, 12:23:41 AM
imorton imorton is offline
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Default Re: Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

@Kpack, thanks for the service manual.

I have read the parts about the control board troubleshooting, and they just say that the switch on the control board must be defective and/or replace the board…

I have tested the start/stop switch at the unit (on the control board) and the VOM shows continuity, so it tests good.

This is what I don't understand, the remote switch and the switch on the unit are supposedly wired in parallel.

So if the generator starts from the remote switch, wouldn't that prove that the control board is good?

Anyone have any thoughts on what to check next?

Thanks a million, IAN…
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:52:48 AM
imorton imorton is offline
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Default Re: Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kpack View Post
I wouldn't change that board. I have the nhm and it starts a little better from inside or the gen I can't remember which. Its a connection somewhere. You may try some contact spray cleaner. I believe it was max that had a gen he tried to get running and went through all the connections no go. He got part of the harness new and it started running.
The remote switch works, it's just not starting from the switch ON the unit. I tested the switch with a digital VOM for continuity, and it tests good.

I cleaned the whole board and sprayed contact cleaner and went out and reinstalled, same thing..

However I notice that I can start the unit from the unit, but I CAN use the switch on the board to shutdown the generator…. hmmmm

I am stumped because it seems the control board is good, but doesn't start from the unit. Is it possible that a continuity test checks out good, yet it can't pass sufficient current/voltage?

Help… IAN…
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:08:38 PM
len k len k is online now
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Default Re: Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

Sounds like your board switch is intermitant. Sometimes good sometimes bad. randomly. Remote switch lives in a nice clean dry place, in rv gen can get dusty, dirty and damp, no ideal conditions for switches.

Does board switch look mechanically damaged? Rocker button is only plastic with small plastic pins for hinge. If you can find another switch you can solder one in instead of replacing board.

Another alternative is to add another remote switch by the gen. See wiring schematic in service manual, the 3 termial switches are in parelle, you can add as many SPDT switches as you like. The switch itself is only 3 wires, a ground and 2 other wires . Switch grounds one to start gen other to stop gen. Can look on Mouser, Digikey,ect for switchs (electronics catalog ). http://www.smokstak.com/forum/showth...y&page=2Switch
Need a SPDT switch that is spring loaded to stay in center position when released (in center position it does not close either contact).

If you don't want to repair it Flight Systems sells good replacement boards ~$120, and repairs some boards, call them. I recomend them over Onan parts, ALOT cheaper and are warenteed, good bunch of techs there. http://www.flightsystems.com/standby...-controls.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by imorton View Post
Is it possible that a continuity test checks out good, yet it can't pass sufficient current/voltage?
Yes depending on what ohms meter is definining as continuity. I would read actual ohms, should be less than 1ohm and really less than 1/4. Monitor meter and activate switch bunch of times, you'll likely find ohms vary as dirt randomly gets in contacts. Disconnect bat to gen or you will get funny readings or damage meter.
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:42:48 PM
imorton imorton is offline
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Default Re: Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

I spoke to FlightSystems, great group of guys, especially Dan, he really knows his stuff.

He said that the circuit traces on the board, especially since I can shutdown the genny from the ON unit switch, it is most likely the circuit board trace going from the switch to CR6 that is corroded/broken.

I just took out the board, and voila, the trace looks corroded/broken, but I will test it with a VOM.

Maybe I can solder a "bypass wire" on the back instead… hmmmm

IAN…
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:03:08 PM
imorton imorton is offline
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Default Re: Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

I have posted a photo showing the board and its traces. I think this is the problem, the trace from the switch is broken/corroded.

IAN
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:03:17 PM
len k len k is online now
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Default Re: Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

Would have expected the green paint coating to protect copper trace....Oh well, must have lived in a damp place. Soldering wire on back is fine. Compare trace to schematic, many times trace runs to more than one component. Hate 2sided boards can't see trace under components.

Traces look close together, can clean corroded traces with toothbursh and seal with clear paint or nailpolish to prevent furthur cororsion.

Not obviouis from picture that trace is broken, can't see. Test trace resistance with ohmmeter.
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:19:21 PM
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Dave Edmonds Dave Edmonds is offline
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Smile Re: Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

Common problem with circuit boards that have to live in harsh (cold, heat, moisture, vibration) environments. Manufacturer does all he can to protect the board and its components, but time and the elements take their toll. Have repaired many circuit boards with only one or two bad traces by using jumper wire - I certainly wouldn't spend the money on a new board if a bit of wire and solder will fix it.
Dave Edmonds
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:47:12 PM
len k len k is online now
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Default Re: Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

Yes, I agree about adding wire to jump trace instead of buying new board.
I've even soldered over about 80 traces on a smashed circuit board of Pioneer reciever to get it working. Still using it as my main stereo, it had real good specs.
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:19:14 PM
Max Thompson Max Thompson is offline
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Default Re: Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

Flight Systems will also repair borads at a very fair price. If they repair it, it will be recoated to prevent future problems.

You are correct, they guys at Flight Systems are a great bunch.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:06:47 PM
imorton imorton is offline
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Default Re: Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

Thanks guys food all the replies, definitely good to have opinions from others.

I agree with the harsh environment and it is 25 years old.

Now I just have to see if I actually have a soldering iron somewhere and whether I should attempt to add a jumper wire. I guess telephone cable should be good?

I sent an email to FlightSystems asking if they know where this jumper should go from/to. I think it should go from the left side of the switch to the P connector (remote connector)…

I just don't know which pin on the remote connector… P-1 or P-2 or P-3 etc…?

Does anyone have any knowledge about this, or a board they can look at

IAN…

Just wanted to add the control board for the 4BGE-F model is the number 300-3056

I hope this helps, IAN…
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:32:54 PM
len k len k is online now
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Default Re: Onan BGEF starts from remote inside, but not from unit?

Second computer I had been using died too, got first one running (had blue screen of death, ran harddrive diagnostics, maxblast, patched harddrive errors). Feels like computer are playing ping-pong dieing.

Computer wouldn't download manual from dropbox, (but it wont go on ebay either.)

From what you posted I assume your gen is spec F , You didn't post full model # .

Couldn't find board #(300-3056) you posted in parts list. But all the versions do about the same thing , so I'ld use a schematic in service manual ( 965-0528) as a guide for soldering, (PFD page 106) . Other schematics are at begining and end of manual.

Telephone wire sounds fine, good to make sure it's copper. Some mechanically crimped wires have funny plating and won't solder.

Manual showed Printed Circuit Board numbers as follows:
300–3950 Spec E–G
300–3763–01 Spec H–M
300–4901–01 Begin Spec N

If turns out switch is bad, it is sold separate from board , manual shows rocker switch as onan # 308-0995.
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