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Old 02-04-2011
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On an automobile when you turn the key to start the engine, the accessory connection on the switch will interrupt power to the sensitive electronics in the car. That is why the radio drops out while you are cranking the engine. Not sure how many boats have the same setup, but a relay could be hooked to the accessory connection and drop out all the electronics. What happens is the starter draws a lot of current through coils that are wrapped around metal that becomes temporarily magnetized because of the current. When the current is interrupted because the engine catches and you let go of the key, this magnetic field had stored electrical energy and releases it back into the battery as a large voltage spike. Transistors in the electronics may not have high enough of a voltage rating to handle that spike. Ideally all of the electronics on the boat should be disconnected when cranking the engine.
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