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Old 05-20-2012
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Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

For the last 2 years have been reading and trying to figure out what when where and why to do with the batery system. I am more confused now than when i started to read up on it. Last night could not start, batts were dead. So i jumped off from house bank with jumper cables and got it running after a hour or so looking for cables, moving stuff out the way, i was so aggrivated i was ready to throw the hole boat over board!!!!!

Here are a few questions that i would like to start with, I know I have asked in the past, but was more opt to do what i wanted, and take the cheap route out,,, but after last night, I WANT IT DONE RIGHT!!!!!!

What i have, and will keep....
Interstate deep cycle Starter battery,,, less than a year old. \
70 amp alternator

What i have and would like to use if i can as house bank
agm battery, not sure of the age, or size, but less say 4 yrs old.
auto zone cheap battery, same age?

The house bank is mid ship under table, the starter battery in engine compartment about 12 feet from house bank, and two feet from motor.

With all that said,,, Please help me get started.

1. Do i need to keep the house bank and starter bank totaly seperate,,, I was told that some of the electronics are sensitive to amp drop during start?? I also read that you could use an echo charger that would split the alt. to send most of the juice to house bank, and some to starter bank... But would this cause the electronics{gps, radios, auto pilots, wind gages etc} to act up or get fried when you start the motor.

2. Is using two mixed matched batteries as house bank a bad idea????
Do i add one new agm to an older agm, or would two new batteries be better??

3. The start battery is wet, Can the house battery be agm, or should they match. I was told you cant charge different style batteries with same charger. What i do now is the alt is only hooked up to starter battery, and a two amp trickle charger to two miss matched house battiers.

4. If i use an echo charger, does the new battery charger still see two banks, or just one.

5. Does the alternator and echo charger both hook to to echo charger, or do I need to hook up alternator to echo, and shore power charger be a two bank system?

Most of my sailing is just a couple of hours,, but gearring up for more. I do have a budget, but this hosh posh stuff i am doing now is killing me...
Thanks for any and all input,,,,
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Old 05-20-2012
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Re: Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

nola

Always best to have a battery bank or the same type of batteries and ideally the same age/condition. 2 new batteries would be better for the house bank.

If the electronics are powered by the same bank that is used for starting there can be issues with the electronics dropping out, especially if the bank is small.

An Echo Charge doesn't split the charge. It wires directly between the battery banks. All charge should go to the house bank as that is where it is most needed. The Echo Charge will, when it sees a voltage increase to charge levels, pass up to 15 amps of current to the start/auxiliary battery as needed. A start battery if only used for starting is seldom down more than 1 or 2 AH.

What kind of battery switch do you have? If it is the standard 1/2/both/off switch it can stay. I suggest putting the house bank on #1 and the start on #2.
Run the alternator output directly to the house bank, fused near the battery with an ANL fuse.
The Echo Charge has a ground and 2 fused wires - one to house positive and one to start positive. It will take care of the start battery automatically.

With an Echo Charge as the only link between battery banks the charger/alternator only sees the house bank. The Echo Charge lets you use different battery types so AGM and flooded can co-exist.

With the above suggestions I would run both alternator and shorepower charger direct to the house bank.

To keep things super simple you can use the house bank for all your needs, both house loads and starting. This turns the start battery into an emergency battery - always charged by the Echo and ready for starting or house loads.

I would also suggest a good marine battery charger - its output to house bank only. Iota makes good chargers at reasonable prices.
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Old 05-21-2012
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Re: Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

thanks for the info, so the echo charger does not split the charge, rather steels a lil from the house bank to charge the starter battey.
I am going to get the sams club battery people are talking about,,, would i be better off with 4 6 volts, or just two of the 12 volts.
and what size charger would i need,, i thought the deep cell marine batteries like low, slow charges, like 10 amps or less... would a 55 amp iota be ok????
thanks again
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Old 05-21-2012
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Re: Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

nola

How large a bank do you want in AH?

4 golf carts in series/parallel makes a good bank if you need one that large. I would prefer it over 12 volt batteries with the same AH total.

Deep cycle batteries have no problem charging with a lot of current. They will accept about 25% of capacity in bulk stage. And a charger cannot be too large - the batteries will accept what they need. If you are cruising and stopping at a dock overnight to plug in the larger the charger the faster to full charge. If you are returning to your home dock after a weekend and will not use the boat until the next week it is less of an issue.

The Iota DLS-55 is a good choice. Make sure to get the IQ-4 option to make it a 3 stage charger - either built-in or separate.
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Re: Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

they will accept about 25% of capacity in bulk stage,,, what does this mean.
if the charger is ratted at 100 amps, it only accepts 25, or if it is a100 amp hour battery, it will only take 25 amps an hour,,, i am confused???
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Re: Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

Flooded batteries will accept 25% of their capacity - 25 amps if it is a 100 AH battery, 50 amps for a 200 AH battery or bank - if in bulk charging mode. From 50% (the lowest you should go) to about 85% is the bulk stage of charging. As the battery reaches about 85% of capacity its internal resistance increases and it will accept less and less current as it gets closer to 100%.
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Re: Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

ahhh,,, i see says the blind man,,, thanks for all your help,,,, in this small fortune i am getten ready to drop, do you think i should invest in a volt meter,, battery read out,,, if so any reconmendations....and is leaving a charger hooked up at all times recomended.. Only take the boat out for 3 or 4 hrs at a time,,, 2 or 3 times a week, mostly weekends... the only 12 volt load at dock would be the bilge pump.... thanks again
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Re: Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

I wouldn't bother with a voltmeter - but I would recommend a good battery monitor like the Victron BMV-600. It tells you the actual battery state, amps in or out as well as voltage. Victron BMV 600 Battery Monitor

As long as the charger is a proper 3 stage one I would leave it on if you are using the boat often. For longer periods when the boat isn't being used it can be shut off - every month or 2 it can be turned on to fully charge the batteries.
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Re: Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

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Originally Posted by nolasailor View Post
ahhh,,, i see says the blind man,,, thanks for all your help,,,, in this small fortune i am getten ready to drop, do you think i should invest in a volt meter,, battery read out,,, if so any reconmendations....and is leaving a charger hooked up at all times recomended.. Only take the boat out for 3 or 4 hrs at a time,,, 2 or 3 times a week, mostly weekends... the only 12 volt load at dock would be the bilge pump.... thanks again
A good battery monitor like the Victron BMV-600 should be the FIRST money you spend in any battery/charging system upgrade. I usually recommend this to be installed at least a month before the rest of the system is decided upon so you can gather actual usage and charging data before making a "shoot from the hip"/"kick the tires" decision..

I see people chronically under design and chronically over design systems because they had no idea what was/is really going on. The money spent on a good battery monitor is usually free, in the long run. Get one, two three or four extra years out of an expensive battery bank or buy the right alternator vs. the wrong one for the application and the cost of the monitor is negligible to free..
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Re: Building a New battery system, need ALOT of help

so bang for the buck,,, my budget puts me at 2 27 agms, or 2 flooded 31,,, is the agm worth the extra money,,, my house bank is easy to get to so adding water if needed is not a problem
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