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House Battery for Electronics

Old 03-06-2013, 06:02 AM
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Default House Battery for Electronics

House Battery for Electronics
I have a single motor with a 2 battery set up (#1, #2 and both) I run mostly on the #1 battery. I am having a problem with the cart-plotter and bottom machine going off when starting.
I am thinking of adding a 3rd battery as a house battery just for the plotter and bottom machine. I have a two bank charger on the batteries already in the boat.
My question is. Can I run the plotter and bottom machine on a 3rd battery that is independent of all other batteries?
Will this battery run all day with the units on say 8 to 12 hours. I would charge the house battery when I come in.
If I can do this. What is the smallest battery I could use?
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Tide-Dancer View Post
House Battery for Electronics
I have a single motor with a 2 battery set up (#1, #2 and both) I run mostly on the #1 battery. I am having a problem with the cart-plotter and bottom machine going off when starting.
Not surprising.

The reason you are experiencing that symptom is because your electronics are running off the same battery bank that is responsible for starting your engine. That is ALWAYS a very bad idea, for several reasons beyond just this one. The cure is, obviously enough, implementing a true dual-bank battery/electrical system, and segregating ALL of the "House" loads to their own dedicated battery bank, leaving the Starting bank to do ONLY its primary job.


I am thinking of adding a 3rd battery as a house battery just for the plotter and bottom machine.
You don't need a third battery. You just need to fix the wiring on your boat. That's easier than you might think. Buy this: http://www.bluesea.com/products/7650...Battery_-_120A, and install it per the instructions. When you're done, the ONLY things running off your Starting battery should be the engine itself, and MAYBE one bilge pump.


I have a two bank charger on the batteries already in the boat.
That will continue to work.


My question is. Can I run the plotter and bottom machine on a 3rd battery that is independent of all other batteries?
As above, you don't need the third battery. The plotter & sounder will run off the "House" battery, just like all the other non-engine loads.


Will this battery run all day with the units on say 8 to 12 hours.
If the engine is running, no question. If not (i.e., long periods of drift fishing or similar), it will depend on the capacity of that House battery vs. the loads you're putting on it.


I would charge the house battery when I come in.
Hopefully, you would charge BOTH batteries, as a matter of course.


If I can do this. What is the smallest battery I could use?
Without knowing more about your boat, the various electrical loads on that boat, and how you intend to use all of the above, it is impossible to say. What type, size and capacity are your current batteries?



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Old 03-06-2013, 08:09 AM
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I bet the boat is wired so that the main power feed to the fuse box is on the same lug as the motor.

In that case it would not matter which battery you selected...It would still do the same thing.

You do not need a 3rd battery. You need this switch and wire it as per the instructions.

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BEP Cluster Switch.

You start your day by turning the Start switch and the House switch to ON.
At the end of the day you turn them both OFF.

It doesn't get any simpler than that. You don't have to remember to turn from Batt 1 when going out and switch to Batt 2 on the way back in. Just something else that you have to remember.

OK so what goes on with it is done all automatically thru the VSR [Voltage Sensitive Relay]

The Relay is in a closed position. As soon as you hit the key to crank the motor the relay opens, due to sensing a large surge of current.

Ok the motor is cranked and running now. The relay is still open. The Alt is charging the Start battery until it reaches a set voltage and charge.

Then the relay closes and is back charging Both the Start & House Battery.

Now another feature that happened when you hit the key is your electronics were ON and wired from the House battery. This will stop any spiking of the Electronics. They don't like to be spiked!

OK...Now your out sitting on the beach. The motor is OFF, but you have the Radio playing for hours. The Relay senses the drop and opens the relay again. The radio is still playing, but the relay just disconnected the Start battery out of the circuit so that it stays at Full charge to start the motor.

When you get ready to leave the beach and crank the motor the alt will charge the Start battery first and when it's back up, the relay will close and charge the House battery.

There is one more switch on the Cluster. It is the Combine switch. Think of that as Jumper Cables without having to dig them out and hook them up. This switch would normally be in the OFF position, until you need a boost on the start battery. Then turn it to ON. After the motor is running turn it back OFF.

Everything is all Automatic. No thinking about it. Your batteries will have a much better charge in them.

The unit pictured above is just slightly larger than a Perko switch. So it doesn't take up much room and takes a LOT less room than the Blue Seas version. It looks cleaner too, due to the cables that are needed on the Blue Seas version.

The cost is aprox $150 for a unit for a single outboard and 2 batteries.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:11 AM
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Optima Blue top batteries and on board 2 bank charger. Running live well, VHF, sometimes the stereo, plotter and bottom machine.
Boat is a Cobia 236 with a 225 Yammy
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:32 AM
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Agree on the BEP cluster, I love them!


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Old 03-06-2013, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Tide-Dancer View Post
My question is. Can I run the plotter and bottom machine on a 3rd battery that is independent of all other batteries?
Yes

Originally Posted by Tide-Dancer View Post
Will this battery run all day with the units on say 8 to 12 hours.
Yes, if your 3rd battery has sufficient capacity.


Originally Posted by Tide-Dancer View Post
I would charge the house battery when I come in. If I can do this. What is the smallest battery I could use?
You have to do the math to answer that question, but I would ask, what's the largest deep cycle battery I can fit in the proposed location. I do exactly what you propose and I have had good luck with a Series 29 deep cycle marine battery.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:41 AM
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What is the advantage of the switch cluster compared to the dual pole switch Itteldoo linked?

Last edited by stiletto; 03-07-2013 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:46 AM
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What is a Itteldoo? Hee, hee
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by stiletto View Post
What is the advantage of the switch cluster compared to the dual throw switch Itteldoo linked?
You get to fiddle with two pointers.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Tide-Dancer View Post
What is a Itteldoo? Hee, hee
I don't know, whats Itteldoo with you?
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by warthog5 View Post
I bet the boat is wired so that the main power feed to the fuse box is on the same lug as the motor.
In that case it would not matter which battery you selected...It would still do the same thing.

You do not need a 3rd battery. You need this switch and wire it as per the instructions.





BEP Cluster Switch.
I am new here and don't want to rehash old topics, but...I want to go to a 2 battery setup as well. I have the standard 1,2,1+2 switch with 1 battery but I really like the above setups mentioned but, due to room constraints I would like to use the Blue Sea switch. Will it do somewhat the same thing as the BEP cluster? Also, if I go with the Add A Battery, they show a common bus bar with all negative leads hooked to it and it attached to a boat ground. Can't all negative leads be hooked together to one of the negative battery posts? I do have separate leads for the console power so it can be separated from the motor leads onto the second battery.

Thanks and look forward to chatting with you guys some more.
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:26 PM
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Itteldoo, I've read so many of your battery wiring posts that I am going crossed-eyed and brain dead.

I bought this used boat a month ago and the 1,2,1+2 switch is all new to me. I have read enough to know that there is a better setup out there.

The setup:
1) Big red switch with only one battery running everything but the trolling motor.

2) 24 volt trolling motor with batteries under console. Space is at a premium under there.

3) On board 3 bank battery charger (also under the console) that I know is wired to the trolling motor batteries but not sure about the cranking battery. I assume that it is since I'm not sure I can find the 3rd set of wires under the console. They appear to be going into the conduit with the rest of the wiring but I am not sure. There are no leads hooked up to the cranking battery that look the same as the ones on the trolling motor batteries.

I want to switch (pun intended) to the Blue Seas Add-A-Battery setup that you linked earlier and 2 batteries. This will give me 4 batteries and a 3 bank charger. Do I just hook the 3rd set of leads to the house battery or do I really need to get a 4 bank charger? My boat does not sit unused for any length of time so I am thinking of the former to try to save some money and aggravation of trying to get it under the console. What other recommendations or advice do you have?
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:36 PM
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I hate to be the odd man out but I did put in a 3rd battery in mine. Its just to start the motor. That way I can go with 2 smaller, lighter house battery's on a switch.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:20 AM
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I would like to use the Blue Sea switch. Will it do somewhat the same thing as the BEP cluster?
Yes and take up more room. That is why I use the BEP's. The one's in the pix's take up 1/4in width and height more than a Perko. The Blue Seas takes up more room due to cable routing.

I've installed a lot of them and have them on my 3 personal boats.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by FishLife View Post
Itteldoo, I've read so many of your battery wiring posts that I am going crossed-eyed and brain dead.

I bought this used boat a month ago and the 1,2,1+2 switch is all new to me. I have read enough to know that there is a better setup out there.

The setup:
1) Big red switch with only one battery running everything but the trolling motor.

2) 24 volt trolling motor with batteries under console. Space is at a premium under there.

3) On board 3 bank battery charger (also under the console) that I know is wired to the trolling motor batteries but not sure about the cranking battery. I assume that it is since I'm not sure I can find the 3rd set of wires under the console. They appear to be going into the conduit with the rest of the wiring but I am not sure. There are no leads hooked up to the cranking battery that look the same as the ones on the trolling motor batteries.

I want to switch (pun intended) to the Blue Seas Add-A-Battery setup that you linked earlier and 2 batteries. This will give me 4 batteries and a 3 bank charger. Do I just hook the 3rd set of leads to the house battery or do I really need to get a 4 bank charger? My boat does not sit unused for any length of time so I am thinking of the former to try to save some money and aggravation of trying to get it under the console. What other recommendations or advice do you have?
First, you need to know where your third set of leads go. No sense guessing, as you could be making a big mistake. I don't like to make mistakes when it comes to starting my boat.

So one option, leave it hooked as is. I believe the add a battery has an ACR which will connect the house battery to the starter battery and charge both. I *think* this is relatively tough for the charger as it assumes there is only one battery and no ACR so thinks look different to the charger and it might make some mistakes. But that is just conjecture.

I am not sure what engine you have, but my Yamaha has an isolated charging output. I prefer running the isolator cable to charge my second batter to the ACR route myself. But then when it comes to charging the batteries you would have to do something like put the switch to the Combine position to charge them both on one charger output. But a better solution would be to get the 4 bank charger, or get a single bank charger to go with your 3 bank charger.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Tide-Dancer View Post
Optima Blue top batteries
That still doesn't tell us very much, besides the fact that they are NOT true deep-cycle batteries. The actual capacity could be anywhere from 50 Amp-Hours to 75 Amp-Hours per battery (which is not all that much in the overall scheme of things; compare to, for example: http://www.lifelinebatteries.com/marineflyer.php?id=4).


and on board 2 bank charger.
While not the most critical element to your immediate issue, better to nail this down now, so there are no unpleasant surprises: Exactly what make/model charger is that?


Running live well, VHF, sometimes the stereo, plotter and bottom machine.
Any idea what the current draw of each of those is?

Throwing a dart, I'd guess perhaps 10-15 Amps, total; more if you crank the stereo. The little Optima battery maybe hard-pressed to keep that stuff going for more than a couple of hours, without some significant ongoing replenishment.

But this is all guesswork, at this point. The main thing is, you need to establish a segregated House bank.


Boat is a Cobia 236 with a 225 Yammy
Center-console or Cuddy version? And where are the batteries, battery-disconnect switches, DC distribution panel, etc., located? None of this makes a big difference in what you need to do; but it might impact HOW you do it.



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Old 03-07-2013, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Tide-Dancer View Post
Optima Blue top batteries and on board 2 bank charger. Running live well, VHF, sometimes the stereo, plotter and bottom machine.
Boat is a Cobia 236 with a 225 Yammy
By the way, I have the 237 with a 300 Yammy. I have the same 2 battery setup with 2 bank charger and 1, 2, 1+2 switch. If the factory installed the second battery you should already have the isolator cable hooked up. I am not sure the year difference between your boat and mine, but mine is a 2013. There is a circuit breaker just inside my bilge access for the isolator cable to the second battery. What that would mean is that the motor is ALWAYS charging the second battery, but only charging the first when the switch is set to position 1. If it is set to position 2 you will be charging the second battery through the primary and secondary charging output of your Yamaha provided your boat is setup the same as mine from the factory. I am going to change out my switch to a dual pole switch to make everything simpler, and move all of my electronics to battery 2 leaving battery 1 to only start my engine. In order to get similar behavior with our existing switch you would have to:
Put switch in position 1 to start motor, leave it in position 1 while running, move it to position 2 while sitting, move back to position 1 to start and leave again. A pain, and it isn't as good as the dual pole switch as it doesn't isolate the electronics from the engine starting.

By the way, does that mean you have the factory installed Raymarine gear?

Last edited by stiletto; 03-07-2013 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by FishLife View Post
I am new here and don't want to rehash old topics, but...I want to go to a 2 battery setup as well. I have the standard 1,2,1+2 switch with 1 battery but I really like the above setups mentioned but, due to room constraints I would like to use the Blue Sea switch. Will it do somewhat the same thing as the BEP cluster?
Yes.


Also, if I go with the Add A Battery, they show a common bus bar with all negative leads hooked to it and it attached to a boat ground. Can't all negative leads be hooked together to one of the negative battery posts?
Electrically, it's the same thing -- or at least should be, if everything is installed correctly. Best practice dictates the physical arrangement; and part of that is to NOT have a rat's nest of individual connections to a battery post.


I do have separate leads for the console power so it can be separated from the motor leads onto the second battery.
If by "console power", you mean the main feed line to your DC distribution panel, then you're probably pretty much good to go. If you do not have a DC distribution panel, you want one. Just make certain that feed line is of adequate size to properly support ALL the loads it will be supplying.


Originally Posted by FishLife View Post
Itteldoo, I've read so many of your battery wiring posts that I am going crossed-eyed and brain dead.

I bought this used boat a month ago and the 1,2,1+2 switch is all new to me. I have read enough to know that there is a better setup out there.

The setup:
1) Big red switch with only one battery running everything but the trolling motor.

2) 24 volt trolling motor with batteries under console. Space is at a premium under there.
OK, because of the different voltage, these two things should be kept as separate entities. As mentioned in other threads, there are ways to jury-rig a 12-volt tap off a 24-volt (or 36-volt) trolling motor bank; but it is generally a bad idea. So, for simplicity's sake, just set the trolling motor and its dedicated battery bank aside, and do not consider them when deciding how your main (12-volt) electrical system should be configured.

Do you know exactly what type/sizes these various batteries are?


3) On board 3 bank battery charger (also under the console) that I know is wired to the trolling motor batteries but not sure about the cranking battery. I assume that it is since I'm not sure I can find the 3rd set of wires under the console.
Best not to "assume" anything. You'll need to trace those lines down and confirm where they actually connect to what.


They appear to be going into the conduit with the rest of the wiring but I am not sure. There are no leads hooked up to the cranking battery that look the same as the ones on the trolling motor batteries.
This is part of why I said that "best practice" takes a dim view of connecting a bunch of "stuff" directly to a battery post. Among other potential problems, it almost inevitably leads to an unmanageable mess that is difficult to troubleshoot.


I want to switch (pun intended) to the Blue Seas Add-A-Battery setup that you linked earlier and 2 batteries. This will give me 4 batteries and a 3 bank charger. Do I just hook the 3rd set of leads to the house battery or do I really need to get a 4 bank charger?
Can't be sure without knowing more about your current charger, and how it is connected. But my guess is that EITHER:

A. - IF the charger is currently connected to the Starting battery, AND it is a high-quality "smart" charger with programmable charge profiles to match different battery types, AND it has adequate capacity... Then you can probably just leave that as-is. The ACR will take care of distributing charge current to the House battery whenever there is charge current available to distribute, be that from the engine alternator or from the charger. The one potential exception here is if the two batteries are not compatible with each other for charging purposes (such as a flooded open-cell vs. a gel cell). But as long as you select your new House battery intelligently, that should not be a problem.

B - If the charger is NOT connected to the Starting battery, or if (as I half suspect) it does not meet the the criteria described above, it probably should be dedicated to the Trolling Motor bank; and a new charger acquired for the Starting & House banks (or maybe vice versa, depending on the specifics of your current charger).


My boat does not sit unused for any length of time so I am thinking of the former to try to save some money and aggravation of trying to get it under the console. What other recommendations or advice do you have?
First and foremost, KNOW what you have before you start hacking on it. Making decisions in a vacuum rarely turns out all that well.



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Old 03-07-2013, 11:49 AM
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I didn't want to hijack this thread; since it has become a general discussion on batteries (and a very good informative one), I need to chime in with my situation.

Before reading through this thread, I assumed my setup was adequate considering it came from the factory. I have a 22' cc with two batteries--one starting battery and one deep cycle. The switch is a 1, 2, 1+2, off. I do not have an on-board charger.

I have not experienced any problems with the GPS/Sounder turning off when the engine is started; however, after reading this thread, it has me thinking if I should make changes.

When starting the engine, I put the switch in 1,2 and leave it there while running. When stopped, radio on, GPS/sounder on, etc., switch is on 2 (deep cycle). Prior to starting again, switch back to 1,2.

Questions...
1. Is that setup adequate?
2. Is my usage correct?
3. With this setup, can I expect future problems?
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Grey_Beard View Post
I didn't want to hijack this thread; since it has become a general discussion on batteries (and a very good informative one), I need to chime in with my situation.

Before reading through this thread, I assumed my setup was adequate considering it came from the factory. I have a 22' cc with two batteries--one starting battery and one deep cycle. The switch is a 1, 2, 1+2, off. I do not have an on-board charger.

I have not experienced any problems with the GPS/Sounder turning off when the engine is started; however, after reading this thread, it has me thinking if I should make changes.

When starting the engine, I put the switch in 1,2 and leave it there while running. When stopped, radio on, GPS/sounder on, etc., switch is on 2 (deep cycle). Prior to starting again, switch back to 1,2.

Questions...
1. Is that setup adequate?
2. Is my usage correct?
3. With this setup, can I expect future problems?
It would be helpful to know more about how your boat is wired. If you have an auxiliary charge output on your motor already hooked up you can change from 1+2 to just 1. I understand why you are doing 1+2, so that both get charged, and if you have an auxiliary charge port hooked up it changes your need to be in 1+2 to get the second battery charged. The only problem I can think of is if one battery takes a dump, it will take the other with it.
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