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Battery Question...

Old 01-09-2003, 12:51 PM
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Default Battery Question...

I searched a lot of battery related posts but didn't come across one that applies to my question....

Before I post it, though, is it better to ask here or on the regular Boaters Forum?

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Old 01-09-2003, 02:26 PM
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Shit, If I could put up a post about some clown selling a VW you certainly can post a battery question on an Electronics board.

Thom

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Old 01-09-2003, 02:45 PM
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Thanks, Thom!

Here's my current setup:

Catamaran with two batteries per motor. All 4 are currently starting type Group27's. I have a Battery switch on each side w the usual OFF-Both- 1-2.
There is no common wiring to port and starboard.

For various reasons (stupidity, senility, forgetting to swith batteries,etc.), I have had the occasion where one pair (same side) gets severly run down or goes dead. When that happens, I have the choice of running a set of jumper cables from one side to the other or using the portable booster. Either maneuver requires that I open hatches that are on the outside of the transom, and run the cables across the stern platform to the other side. Needless to say, it never happens in a dead calm sea!

I am thinking of setting up a third switch that could be used to draw juice from the good side to the dead side without opening a hatch, and running cables or a booster battery outside the boat.

What would be the best way to do this ? Is it not recommended for any reason?

I am also considering replacing one battery on each side with a deep cycle. Any thoughts?

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Old 01-09-2003, 03:41 PM
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What kind of engines do you have?? Do your engines have dual battery charge capability?? You are implying that you cannot run permanent wiring between the 2 sets of batteries. Is this true or did I miss something??
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Old 01-09-2003, 03:53 PM
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Twin DF 140 Suzuki 4 strokes (40 amp alt ea.), 2 batteries per side with their own switch. There is no problem charging 2 batteries at a time. To my knowledge, there are no common wires between the 2 sides. It's like a single engine/2battery instal ldone twice on the same boat. Twin breaker panels with separate Main BAtT switches for each side as well to control whatever auxiliary equipment/ electronics are on the boat. The bilge pumps are the only devices wired directly to the batteries on their corresponding sides.

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Old 01-09-2003, 03:55 PM
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First off, I would not mix batteries. Use in pairs either the starting type, deep cycle or the dual function type. I like the dual purpose ones.

Second, many set ups have the kind of wiring you are proposing. I believe it is most commonly referred to as a parallel switch. It essentially links (temporarily) one battery to another via a momentary switch. I'm sure there are lots of ways to rig it but the batteries should be isolated from each other when the switch is not in use.

23 Regulator (2002) F225
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Old 01-09-2003, 05:24 PM
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Rather than useing jumper cables you could do the same thing by permanently wireing from one side to the other useing a marine electric solinoid switch with a momentary push button on the dash to use to jump start from one engine to the other by just pushing a button when needed.

Tim,25'SkipjackFB,Diesel
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Old 01-09-2003, 11:14 PM
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It sounds like you are saying that even your "house" battery system is split in two and feeding two different DC panels? If so that is kind of odd. I would bet then that the side that goes dead most often is the one providing power for refrigeration or other significant uses? At any rate, you could overcome your present problem of dead starting by switching both of your battery "1-2-Both" switches to "2" when you are anchored, to "Both" when you are underway (& charging) and to "1" when you are starting. That said, I would give some consideration to rewiring that set-up so that the 2 house batteries are permanently paralleled thus the DC panels become unitized and the loads spread out. I would then leave the battery switches on "1" and charge the house batteries through a couple of "combiners" - that way you don't have to think too much (no switches to keep track of or worry about). Also, it is fine to replace your "house" batteries with deep cycle as long as they are the same type of battery as your "start" batteries (usually lead/acid).

28' Maxcat w/twin Honda 225's (on the way!)

[This message was edited by Chaps on 01-10-03 at 02:29 AM.]
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Old 01-09-2003, 11:27 PM
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Thom,
Maybe you can explain this to both of us while you're at it.

[img]file:///C:/My%20Documents/My%20Pictures/batteryw.jpg[/img]

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Old 01-09-2003, 11:48 PM
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Thom,
Maybe you can explain this to both of us.
[img]file:///C:/My%20Documents/My%20Pictures/battery.jpg[/img]

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Old 01-10-2003, 01:43 AM
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First off, thanks for replies, so far.

Reel hungry has the idea, exactly. I am only looking for a way to "momentarily" draw juice from the "hot" side to the "dead" side for starting purposes only. I am trying to avoid using clamp on booster cables or a a portable battery jumper from outside the boat (remember, battery access is on the outer transom).

I can run wiring from one sponson to the other with relative ease. My goal was to put some type of switch, either on the console or in the cabin for those times when I need a 'boost'.

Part of the problem is that my port side takes the heaviest hit when running with a lot of circuits on. The electronic box has it is own buss bar and draws from the port side system. Additionally, the stereo and alarm system on the boat require a constant hot for memory and sensor purposes, so those 2 were wired directly (in line fuses) to the port side as well.

Late in the season, when I used the boat sparsely, I often found the port side severly discharged or dead due to drain from the stereo memory, alarm and the fact that the bilge pumps were cranking pretty frequently with all the rain and even snow that we had in the fall.

The solenoid that Reel Hungry suggests looks like an answer. Are there other methods? Are there pitfalls to look out for?

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Old 01-10-2003, 04:18 AM
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Big E

A few thoughts. A friend had that momentary solenoid. It only worked half the time, a real PITA. I would not rely on it. Go with a Perko type on/off switch and hook one positive to each post so that ON connects the two positives together.

Then go read the posts about connecting common grounds. If you connect the positive, and don't have a ground, it will not work. Gotta have a good common ground.

To draw down two group 27 batteries you must be running all kinds of stuff. Have you thought of just switching to one battery when you stop to keep the other charged for starting?

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Old 01-10-2003, 04:27 AM
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Beg E
Can you not see the diagram that I posted?

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Old 01-10-2003, 05:00 AM
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Casey P-

Your suggestion was my first thought. Just not quite sure how to do it, or if it is something that would backfire.

As far as running down the batteries, it is a combination of things. I am going to rewire the stereo memory hot lead to one of the switch panels. It seems that although it is supposed to draw a negligible amount it is one of the culprits for having the batteries die if not recharged for nearly a week( windy fall with abnormally low temps as well). I'll live without having my 3 favorite stations in memory!

The 2 batteries that I want to replace are the ones in the port sponson. They were fully discharged several times and we all know how that degrades storage capability. My thought was to get 2 deep cycles and place one on each side.

The few times that I have run them down were during night fishing trips with nav lights, cockpit/cabin lights, spreader lights, 2 baitwells, FF, Radar, VHF, GPS occasional windlass, etc. running. Sometimes, you forget to start and fast idel a motor to put some of the charge back. Sometimes (nasty nights) you say to yourself that it won't kill the battery if I leave it set to BOTH or 1 or 2... but it does.

DANNY- In your diagram, do you run the ground from the sky to the water or do you also run a lead to the land as well? (LOL). It is a nice sunset, though! For some reason, your diagram is not showing (at least to me).

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Old 01-10-2003, 05:13 AM
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Default Battery Question...

Just re-read your reply.

First off, thanks!

Not sure if I fully understand how a "House Battery" set up functions. No need to explain right now, since I believe you are correct in your statement that "my house battery is split in 2".

Each motor and some of the auxiliary and electronic equipment is part of eather the port or starboard "system". I can not, at present select to use my starboard motor to start or charge either of the 2 batteries on the port side,(or vice versa). Like wise, my port bilge pump, cannot draw from the starboard "system". It is the same for the other electricals. I believe even my navigation lights draw from one side or the other and cannot be redirected to either or both sides.

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Old 01-10-2003, 09:10 AM
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BigE - battery wiring is a simple thing and you would do yourself a great service to set things up right. A simple paralleling lead so you can jump dead batteries with good batteries is a band aid approach IMO. Better to set things up properly so you never have to deal with dead systems.

28' Maxcat w/twin Honda 225's (on the way!)
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Old 01-10-2003, 09:17 AM
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From your earlier post as follows;


"I can run wiring from one sponson to the other with relative ease. My goal was to put some type of switch, either on the console or in the cabin for those times when I need a 'boost'."

If you can do the above including running a pair of heavy duty wires like #1 guage between the starboard and port battery switches, I think you can solve your problem. However, I have to check the wiring of my Bat switches which I will do this weekend. Will get back to you on Monday.
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Old 01-10-2003, 09:57 AM
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Gil-
Thanks for the effort, it is appreciated.

Chaps-
I can't agree with you more. I am taking the steps to "fix it right". First is to get rid of those things that cause a constant drain. The other is to improve upon (if possible) the way my boat is wired now. Some of it is just human error (IMO).If my solution seems like a "band-aid", please let me know what you think is the correct approach.

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Old 01-10-2003, 10:42 AM
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With all the drain & recharge you may consider taking those batteries to the autoparts store and have them run a dynamic test on each.

I had a similar prob with Ships Battery pulled down from continuous drain by radio's memory wire & powered GPS antenna. Had to replace the battery.

How are your panels connected? e.g. #1 Panel connected to #1 Battery of Bank 1 and #2 Panel to #1 Battery of Bank 2. That type of connection would require both SWs to be in Position 1 or Both to recharge the loaded battery, Running SWs in position 2 would never allow panel batteries to recharge.

[This message was edited by HookMan on 01-10-03 at 02:27 PM.]
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Old 01-10-2003, 10:52 AM
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Big E,
I've got a diagram that came with my Grady that shows you how to do exactly what you're talking about. I've got what sounds like the same setup as you. If you wish, I will email it to you as a pdf file if you have acrobat reader. I would also like to send it to Thom so he could explain to all of us how it works.

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