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Genie 34/19 towable manlift, Low battery issue with good batteries

Discussion in 'Forklifts/Telehandlers' started by Rojjer, May 17, 2021.

  1. Rojjer

    Rojjer Member

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    The machine is from year 2000.
    I have been struggling trying to solve a low battery light coming on issue. I have installed brand new, fully charged batteries. All lift functions work, but only for a few seconds, before an error code 0003 comes on and low battery light also comes on. I have also not been able to retract the auto out riggers, even when all lift arms are back completely down.
    What could cause this, when batteries are fine ?
    Any help would be appreciated
     
  2. Delmer

    Delmer Senior Member

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    How about running a test lead from the voltage source for the controller in order to see what voltage the controller is seeing? that would help you decide if the controller is on the fritz, or it's functioning correctly and you have a low voltage situation, either from a bad connection and/or a failing hydraulic pump. Without a better spec, I'd think 12.5V per battery would be good enough under load, so 25V if it's a 24V system.
     
  3. Rojjer

    Rojjer Member

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    Thanks for the tip.
    I am seeing good voltage being supplied to controller, about 26V. I also tested the voltage at batteries, it does not really drop at any batteries when i am doing lift operations. They are all brand new batteries, all well charged. The error code 0003 and low battery light seems to be a safety error, that the battery is low and so stop operations. Not sure how that low battery error is detected ?! I did not think it came from the motor controller. Controller seems to work fine. Everything works, but only for a few seconds, and then low battery, 0003 error code comes up ?!
    I did manage to get retractors to retract back. One of the safety switches that inform that all arms are stowed away properly were stuck. There are two of them and both need to be right before retractors will work for safety. So at least that issue gone !!
     
    Tarhe Driver likes this.
  4. Engineer44

    Engineer44 Well-Known Member

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    Along the lines of what Delmer said, monitor the voltage during that few seconds when the machine is operating correctly. It is possible the motor/motor controller/pump is drawing a lot of current. That may be dropping the voltage below the controller’s acceptable threshold. Blue boards or green?
     
  5. Engineer44

    Engineer44 Well-Known Member

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    Also carefully inspect all the battery cables, connections, the heavy wiring around the motor controller, the wiring on the system fuse near the controller (1500 Amps), etc. Any corrosion or loose connection will create a high resistance point that will cause a voltage drop. Often the cables have a crimp-on lug and there’s corrosion inside the crimp you can’t see. If there are bad connections they will make heat. Sometimes you can feel for a hot joint right after a heavy current draw. Everything must be clean and tight.
    But...if the voltage you monitor doesn’t drop below 24 volts while you are exercising a function then you may have a low voltage detector issue on the ground control board.
     
  6. Rojjer

    Rojjer Member

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    Thank you for your help.
    The control boards are blue.
    So, I tested the battery voltage at the controller. It read 24V on standby. It fell by about 1.5V when I tried to extract outriggers. Then after 2 or 3 seconds Low battery light came on as usual and stopped operation. I was able, however to retract outriggers even with low battery light on. There does not appear to be an issue running retract outriggers. The voltage falls about the same in retract mode about 1 Volt to perhaps 1.5 V at the controller.
    I tried extracting just one outrigger alone thinking less load on pump, but got same low bat issue after a couple of seconds.
    Interestingly, showed no issue retracting out riggers, one or all even with low bat indicator on.
    Do you think I should get a new controller ? I wonder if there are some jumpers at the blue boards that need to be set for certain battery types that may be wrongly set ?
    Any thoughts ?
    I get a sense that something in the blue boards circuit boards detects low voltage when extracting outriggers and switches off the pump controller, perhaps for safety. But allows retracting outriggers to work no problem.
     
  7. Engineer44

    Engineer44 Well-Known Member

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    OK, so confirmed you have hydraulic outriggers as opposed to the manual screw type ones. When you try to deploy the outriggers downward do they reach the ground or do you get the low voltage condition before they even touch the ground? They aren’t doing much work until they contact the ground, just like they don’t do much work when they are being retracted. Is this machine new to you? Did it ever work correctly for you? If so when did this issue start? And was it intermittently an issue at first or did it just start doing this suddenly? I wouldn’t necessarily condemn the blue boards yet. The outriggers are being commanded to deploy and they try. Don’t quote me but I was thinking the batteries could get down closer to 20 volts before the machine protects itself.
     
  8. Rojjer

    Rojjer Member

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    I bought the machine 4 years ago or so. It was all demonstrated to be working at that time. But sadly I did not actually use it and it was stored away up until now. So it is new to me. It is my first attempt at actually using it to try to do a slate roof that I cannot get anyone to do !
    I can eventually get the outriggers down by doing it few seconds at a time, switching off and on (to reset it), then a bit more extension. Outriggers cannot be setup in one shot currently. Probably three or four resets to do it. I had all out riggers down at one point and had the machine level so that I could operate other functions. All functions work, but with the same low battery indicator coming on after a few seconds and then stopping the operation.
    The voltage drop did not seem significant at the controller when pump running, so the controller perhaps is working fine ! It would seem the blue boards are switching the controller off, hence I wondered what may cause them to do that. Also, mysteriously, the low battery issue does not seem to affect withdrawing outriggers at all. One can do that in one shot !
     
  9. skata

    skata Senior Member

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    Did you download the service manual from genie website?
     
  10. Rojjer

    Rojjer Member

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    I looked at it online, but could not find anything that could help with the symptoms I was experiencing.
    They don't show schematics, so a bit hard to know what in the blue boards could cause a low voltage fault, which then switches off the pump controller.
    My take on it was that, since the voltage at the controller does not fall very much, like only 1.5V, the low voltage condition must be detected within the blue boards for some reason and it switches off the controller. That was the only logic I could come up with ?! Unless someone has other ideas or seen this type of behaviour themselves, it is proving problematic !
    New boards will likely be expensive and the problem may be minor.
     
  11. skata

    skata Senior Member

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    Like mentioned, check voltage at boards. Check wiring and connectors.
     
  12. cuttin edge

    cuttin edge Senior Member

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    There's a fella, a few posts down the page with the same machine. He had his boards rebuilt, and is still having issues. Should talk to him.
     
  13. Engineer44

    Engineer44 Well-Known Member

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    Try unplugging the platform control from the ground control box just to eliminate that as a factor. I notice error code 0003 mentions outrigger switches in addition to other faults. Have you checked those carefully? They are a common problem on that lift. Move the foot at the end of each outrigger and listen for a nice clean “click”. Or if your switches are at the machine end of the outrigger inspect them and manually operate them. You should hear the microswitch inside click. They get corroded and gummy and cause issues. Might as well check the easy stuff. Each board has a voltage regulator to produce 5-volts for the electronics. Not sure if you’re comfortable finding and checking that. Last I checked the blue boards weren’t available anymore but maybe there are some again. Genie does have a complete control system upgrade for that machine but it’s expensive. It has complete ground control and platform boxes, new level sensor, all the wiring, the whole nine yards. It’s relay based and uses all discrete components that you can source at any electronic parts supplier. Which means it’s field repairable.
     
  14. Rojjer

    Rojjer Member

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    Thank you all for some very valuable feedback.
    I tried to check the voltage at the regulator, thinking maybe that was not giving 24V. The leads are coming out of it are very close. I accidentally managed to touch the lead next to it and got small spark, which was a complete disaster.
    Probably managed to create more issues, because now I get slow beeping and then the low battery light comes on, but outriggers don't move anymore. So looks like I am going to need new board or boards at the ground control box.
    Any suggestions on where to buy ?
    Thanks for all the help
     
  15. Engineer44

    Engineer44 Well-Known Member

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    GCIRON in Florida sells Genie parts online. Gciron.com.
    If the blue boards are no longer available you may have to go for the control system upgrade $$$ unless you can find known-good used boards. ??
    Personally I’m skeptical about having them repaired by a third party. Unless they have full schematics and a way to fully test all the functions I don’t see how they can assure a successful repair.
     
  16. Rojjer

    Rojjer Member

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    Thanks.
    I am trying Zuma canada : https://www.zumaliftservice.ca. Their american counterpart had the part 83046 CPU display board, but could not see a way on their site to ship to Canada, so I called them and they said they have a canadian counterpart that could help out.
    Waiting for them to call back. Price could be ugly I suspect, but was even uglier at Gciron from what I could see. That spark smoked off a lot of dollars. Beware probing those voltage regulators.
     
  17. skata

    skata Senior Member

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    Are there any fuses on the board?
     
  18. Rojjer

    Rojjer Member

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    That is a very good point ! I could not see any fuses in there.
    Looking closely now I think I shorted in and out wires of the regulator LM2941T. They are right next to each other.
    24V comes in and 5V goes out. And the regulator still shows that. The short would pass 24 V to the 5V and may have fried something perhaps, since now the outriggers won't move. But machine beeps and then the low voltage light comes on. So there is power going to the board.