Proper wiring of outboard motor - SailNet Community

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Old 04-11-2008
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Proper wiring of outboard motor

Hi all,

I was hoping that someone could shed light on the proper wiring of an outboard equiped with an alternator in order to charge the battery when running.

Current equipment:
7.5 Honda outboard
1 12v marine gell cell
1 TrueCharge 10amp battery charger
1 2-battery switch (OFF, ON 1 Battery, ON 2nd Battery, ON 2+1 Battery)

I bought the previously owned vessel just over a year ago and noticed the following characteristics:

1) When connected to shore power, with the battery switch in either the on or off position, the TrueCharge multi-stage battery charger operates as normal and charges the battery.
2) When under way with the motor running and the battery switch in the 'on' position, all electrical functions run directly off of the battery and the motor does not charge nor run any of the electrical devices.
3) When under way with the motor running and the battery switch in the 'OFF' position, the motor powers all devices at 14+v and it is unclear as to whether it charges the battery or not. When the motor is then turned off, I am forced to switch the battery switch back to the 'ON' position to run off battery so that I don't lose electricity to all of the components.

Is this normal? It seems very odd to me. My feelings are that I should have the battery switch to the 'ON' position at all times, motor running or not, and that when the motor is running it should charge the battery from the current off the alternator.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance,

Ryan
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Old 04-11-2008
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with your 3 position isolation switch and only having one battery, the symptoms you are describing is that there is something wrong.

If you have the battery in off - then you should not get juice ANYWHERE. The motor may still charge in some instances (depending on how it is setup) but in the OFF position - there should be no juice to anything else with exception the bilge pump which is usually hard wired to the battery.

Either the battery is intersected prior to the isolation switch and your fuse panel or the wiring of that isolation switch is not proper...
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Old 04-12-2008
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The battery should charge with the engine running in the #1 ON position. If it's not charging then something is wired wrong. Obviously the alternator is putting out current. So I would trace out the wiring. Also check to see if there is a fuse or circuit breaker in the charging circuit. The fuse or breaker may have blown.
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Old 04-18-2008
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Should I then wire the alternator directly to the terminal on the battery? If so, is there any potention harm to the battery for potention overcharging? What is the proper way of wiring the alternator into the system?
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