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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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  #1  
Old 05-31-2013
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Voltage Drop Problem ???

My Columbia 8.3 is powered by an atomic 4 engine. Every time I start the engine my Garmin 178C shuts off. No problem energizing it again while engine is running or when engine is off. I'm thinking the starter motor draws enough current to drop the voltage enough to cause the Garmin to shut off. I'm thinking of installing a single battery dedicated to the Garmin alone but wondering if there might be an alternative to this. The deep cell battery bank is new. Any thoughts

Last edited by weephee; 05-31-2013 at 03:51 PM. Reason: Wrong title
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Old 05-31-2013
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Re: Electrical Problem

You are correct in that your voltage is dropping too low causing the Garmin to shut down. I wonder how low your voltage is dropping. Do you have a way to check? What do you have for a battery bank(s)?
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Old 05-31-2013
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Re: Electrical Problem

Start relay shutting off unnecessary loads while cranking? Is Garmin wired directly to the battery positive bus?
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Old 05-31-2013
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Re: Electrical Problem

Hi weephee, I see you're in Ottawa. Do you sail the Ottawa River? I used to live there, but got into sailing after I left.

Deep cycle batteries are not very good starter batteries. They're designed to sustain deep discharge, not to deliver big amps quickly, as is needed for starting an engine. They can do it, but a big drop in voltage during the start is not a surprising outcome.

I'd suggest buying a dedicated starter battery, and keep the deep cycle as the house battery.
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Old 05-31-2013
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Re: Electrical Problem

The GPS should REALLY be on a house bank as even and A4 with perfect stuff is going to drop the voltage below the GPS units low voltage level
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Re: Electrical Problem

I have two new Costco (Kirkland) deep cell batteries. Also have the battery switch for #1 or #2 or both. Not sure what the voltage drop is but it wouldn't be hard to check with a volt meter when I'm cranking. The Garmin is hooked up to the DC panel buss but not to a breaker. It has an inline fuse. Mike, I keep my boat at Kingston on Lake Ontario.
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Old 06-02-2013
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Re: Electrical Problem

It all depends on how it's wired.

Basic Battery Wiring Diagrams This is a very good basic primer for boat system wiring: Basic Battery Wiring Diagrams

This is another very good basic primer for boat system wiring: The 1-2-B Switch by Maine Sail (brings together a lot of what this subject is all about)
1/BOTH/2/OFF Switches Thoughts & Musings - SailboatOwners.com
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