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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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Old 04-18-2010
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Two Different Batteries

Nothing confuses me more than batteries...
Classic plastic Columbia weekend warrior with mild electricity requirements (18hours of gps/vhf/instruments a week and an led anchor light with a photo sensor).
Time to replace the batteries on our boat. It came set up with two 115ah Trojans on a off-1-2-both switch charged by the stock alternator on the universal m3-20b. One is wired to start (1), one to house(2).
I would like to replace both these batteries with one deep cycle to act as the house bank and add a proper starting battery for the engine. So, two questions 1. Will the two different types of batteries cause a problem? and 2. Suggestions on how to wire to the switch,etc.?

Thanks for helping out the neophyte !
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Old 04-18-2010
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No big deal.

You can build the house bank from either 12V batteries in parallel or 6V golf-cart type batteries in series. The separate start battery can be kept up with a little device called an EchoCharge.

Here's the basic wiring setup:

Well...hell...had this problem before with SailNet Board....I can't upload even a small jpeg file. Only have trouble with this Board. Sorry.

Bill
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Old 04-18-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofangler View Post
...Will the two different types of batteries cause a problem? and 2. Suggestions on how to wire to the switch,etc.?
Hoof, if I understand your Q correctly you are concerned that the mix of a conventional automotive starter battery and a deep cycle "house" battery may be a problem - it is not as long as both are of the same type i.e. flooded cell, or absorbed glass matt, or Gel Cells.

I use a the Echo Charge as Bill recommends to keep an AGM starter battery charged in conjunction with an AGM deep cycle house bank. I will hope Bill can upload his drawing and save me the drawing time. See if this helps (pg 8) http://www.jgtech.com/pdf/Echo_Charge_Manual.pdf

Bill, post the .jpg to some photo hosting site - then use the URL of the image to paste into Sailnet using their "Insert Image" icon. (Agree with the frustration btw) .pdf is yet another issue... Have you posted it at SSCA? Maybe you can point the OP there?
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Last edited by wwilson; 04-18-2010 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 04-18-2010
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Thanks, Wayne. I just did that. Shouldn't have to, but..... :-(

Anyway, here's the link: Basic12VDC

It shows a bare-bones schematic for a 12VDC system design which will work for many boats.

The basic premise is that:

1. There's a separate house bank (any size) and a start battery;

2. ALL charging sources (charger, alternator, solar panels, wind generator, other generator, etc.) go directly to the HOUSE battery bank, thru appropriate regulators and fuses, of course; and

3. The start battery is automatically maintained with an EchoCharge or DuoCharge device.

Clean, simple, effective.

Note that charging sources are not shown in the diagram.

Note further that there are two switches:

(1) an ON/OFF switch on the start battery circuit; and

(2) a 1-2-BOTH-OFF switch which is normally left in the #1 position, linking the house bank to the house load. Only reason to ever change to #2 position would be if the start battery died and you wanted to start the engine from the house bank. Or, less likely, if the house bank died and you wanted to run the house load from the start battery.

Bill

Last edited by btrayfors; 04-18-2010 at 04:56 PM.
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There is only one caveat with any system that would use an Echo Charge unit and that is that, since the echo unit is only as smart as the main charger it's connected to, the charging profile may not be appropriate for the 2nd battery being charged....still won't let you mix lead or AGM with GEL's.
Howard Keiper
Berkeley
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Old 04-18-2010
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Howard,

Yes, that's correct. If you MUST mix flooded and/or AGMs with gels, you could use the Balmar DuoCharge instead of the Xantrex EchoCharge....it's programmable. Costs more, of course. Also, it has a 30A capacity instead of the 15A capacity of the EchoCharge (which is more than enough for most boats).

Bill
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Old 04-18-2010
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I agree the Echocharge will work fine. But I see no need for the other switch in the diagram. here is a simpler system. If the 2 banks are wired to the 1/2/all switch as is normally done you only ever need to switch to #1 when coming aboard and off when leaving. All use, house loads and starting can be easily accomplished with the house bank. The other battery becomes the "emergency" battery and the Echocharge will keep it fully charged. It couldn't be simpler. Or the other battery can be used for starting but there is no need really.
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Old 04-19-2010
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Thank you very much for the excellent information and diagrams. Off to the boat !!
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