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post #21 of 32 Old 05-21-2012
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Re: Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

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I assume you have a 1/2/ALL/OFF switch? If not, that would be my investment over anything else. You can wire all your house into 1, start into 2, etc. The way most sailors I know use this system is they keep it on all when under way under motor, put it on house bank (1 in your case) when sailing, and generally use the ALL for starting. You just have to be mindfull to switch the switch depending on what you are doing. Forgetting and leaving it on ALL will of course tax all your batteries. Once you get used to it, it is easy.

Outside of that, I probably would not invest a lot of money into a brilliant system. You are not cruising. Wait until you go cruising for battery monitors, echo chargers, top of the end batteries, or any major changes.

Brian
Brian

I would assume he already has a 1/2/both/off switch - standard on virtually every boat.
He needs new batteries - I agree flooded makes the most sense.

The only addition to a totally automatic system is an Echo Charge. He mentioned it in the first post and it is an excellent idea.

The battery monitor will tell him what state the batteries are in at any given time - there is no other way to find this out easily. It will also allow him to find the amp usage of any item as well as consumption at any given time.

There is nothing exotic about these changes - they just make up for the original builder's lack of expenditure on a proper system. Removing the alternator output from the 1/2/both switch is a great idea.

I think one should know state of charge and usage characteristics of their electrical system whether they are using the boat on weekends or cruising more extensively.

If you have to use "all" for starting there are issues that should be solved - it should not ever be necessary. If the start battery is bad for some reason switch to house, don't combine.

Brian
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post #22 of 32 Old 05-21-2012
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Re: Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

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Brian

I would assume he already has a 1/2/both/off switch - standard on virtually every boat.
He needs new batteries - I agree flooded makes the most sense.

The only addition to a totally automatic system is an Echo Charge. He mentioned it in the first post and it is an excellent idea.

The battery monitor will tell him what state the batteries are in at any given time - there is no other way to find this out easily. It will also allow him to find the amp usage of any item as well as consumption at any given time.

There is nothing exotic about these changes - they just make up for the original builder's lack of expenditure on a proper system. Removing the alternator output from the 1/2/both switch is a great idea.

I think one should know state of charge and usage characteristics of their electrical system whether they are using the boat on weekends or cruising more extensively.

If you have to use "all" for starting there are issues that should be solved - it should not ever be necessary. If the start battery is bad for some reason switch to house, don't combine.
Hey Brian (great name btw),

He can get a general sense of the state of the bats by the voltage. I completely agree with you that what you are proposing would be better, but I simply wouldn't put it on my boat for that use. As a LA or cruiser, I would. But not as someone that just goes out sailing on the weekends. I would invest the money into new batteries of the same type and just remember to change my switch depending on what/where I was. Again, that is my opinion for that use.

As a LA and cruiser, my setup is totally different, but it needs to be. It's not just a boat it is a home. And I sail places that are difficult to get help for.

Again, I am not saying that I dissagree with you or Maine that what you are suggesting would be better, I am simply saying that in my opinion, if it were my boat, for that use, I wouldn't bother.

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post #23 of 32 Old 05-21-2012
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Re: Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

BTW, just to clarify they switching to ALL, that is assuming he has been running off his house bank which is low and he switches to all to start the battery on the motor. Just wanted to clarify that.

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post #24 of 32 Old 05-21-2012
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Re: Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

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BTW, just to clarify they switching to ALL, that is assuming he has been running off his house bank which is low and he switches to all to start the battery on the motor. Just wanted to clarify that.

Brian
When the house bank is low that is a bad time to combine the banks - the good start battery can try to charge the depleted house bank and you can end up unable to start with either bank.

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Re: Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

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When the house bank is low that is a bad time to combine the banks - the good start battery can try to charge the depleted house bank and you can end up unable to start with either bank.
If the house bank is that low, and after switching the engine will not stary, just flip it over to '2' and start it. Won't matter. The amount of time we are talking about would be neglibigble until the engine is started and alternator kicks in.

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post #26 of 32 Old 05-21-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

having to motor in and out of the marina,, about 2 miles,, i want to make sure the starter battery is only used for motor,,,, i want to keep it fool proof, would rather flip a switch to jump rather that have to remeber to flip back and forth all the time
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post #27 of 32 Old 05-22-2012
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Re: Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

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having to motor in and out of the marina,, about 2 miles,, i want to make sure the starter battery is only used for motor,,,, i want to keep it fool proof, would rather flip a switch to jump rather that have to remeber to flip back and forth all the time
Then you are probably stuck with the echo charge idea. I don't have a problem with that, but it is not how I owuld spend my money for that use. You are probably $300 for EC and monitor, without install. You will also be looking into fixing your battery siuation (wets or agms). When it is all done, you will have a lot of money inviested in a system than what you would otherwise have if you simply got into the routing of changing the battery switch at sail/anchor.

But you need to do what feels right for you. And understand, this is coming from a guy that installed 520 watts of solar, an Outback MPPT charge controller, 4-4d Lifelines for house, an optima start battery for engines, two completely independent chargin and circuts for both, etc. So I personally go way over the top. But I cruise an LA. No way I would install that stuff for a weekender. It gets into my beer budget (snicker).

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post #28 of 32 Old 05-22-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

Thanks for all the input,,, I should also tell you a lil more about the boat,,,it sunk during kartina,,, i rewired the entire boat,,, and no, i do not have a 1 2 both switch.. I did do the wiring the proper way, all new marine grade wire, new ac panel, new dc panel. The way i am hooked up now is the dc panel is hooked to house bank, and all motor componets{motor gauges, fuel pump, bilge fan, run off of a fuse panel feed by the starter bank,,,

The house bank has a hard wired battery charger when on shore power, and the start bank is only charged by the alt at this time, and the only way to connect the two is via jumper cables.

I put a budget together for this project that is not realistic, I Know i need to knock off a liquor store or bank to do it the best way, but what i realize now is that i need to take this in baby steps,,, and hope that i can add as i go, and hopefully not replace when budget allows.

so whith that being said,,

1. 2 sams clubs 90 amh flooded bought and paid for.
2. All wire from the original rewire is in place, and of ample size.
3. echo charger on order

So do i want a 1 2 both switch, or do i want to run a 200 amp celinoid to connect house to starter bank if starte bank fails???

And still need good charger,,, but been reading a few bad reviews on the iota chargers. the bad reviews say the newer units are not what they use to be, but all reviews brag on customer service.
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Re: Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

I would have the 1-2-all switch in before anything else. You need a charger on that start battery. Not sure how you want to do it, but you need one. I would prioritize the 1-2-all over anything, then figure out how to charge starter batt, then new batts of same type, then echo charger, then battery monitor.

If you simply get your start battery and house battery fully charged before leaving the marina, and have the ability to charge them all via your alternator at anchor or when motoring, have good batteries, and a 1-2-all switch, you are out the cheapest money and probably with a system that works.

On mid-range Catalina models, they put one 4-d one selector 1, one 4-D on selector 2, and that is it. It has a good battery charger for both batteries and alternator charges both also. But again, you should try to remember to run off of one battery or the other to keep one in reserve. Many people don't. But for most, who are jus weekenders, it doesn't matter.

I personally think you are making this way too complicated and expensive, but my opinion my be th minority.

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post #30 of 32 Old 05-24-2012
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Re: Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

Nola,

Take the batteries back to SAMs, and head to Jefferson Battery. On Jefferson highway right across from the Lowes at the Orleans parish/Jefferson parish line. Their prices are much better than even SAMs, and they provide great service. They can also walk you through the process of selecting the proper batteries.

I just replaced mine, and walked out with 4 6v deep cycle batteries, 225ah each, for I think $350, including new jumper wires. The starting bank is actually a deep cycle set, but has more than enough CCA's to start my 44hp engine.
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