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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #21  
Old 06-10-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Brak-

Considering that the dwell time for the ACR to break the connection is only 30-60 seconds, and that it takes at least that long for me to get the shore power disconnected and rolled up, it really isn't an issue IMHO.
In my case the time is quite a bit longer. I have a feeling that the time period starts when voltage drops below charging voltage (can't remember what it is now), and if no loads are present, ACR will stay on for a long time due to surface charge of 14v or so.

I also meant a slightly different scenario - something I've done just this weekend. I needed to run the engine to check something. The boat stays in a slip, and I don't actually go ashore to remove the cable - just turn off the shore power switch. If I didn't have the ignition turn-off on ACR, I'd have to then turn a bunch of 12v appliances, wait for surface charge to disappear (with my miserly lights and all, I'd have to run a water pump for a few minutes), then wait another minute for ACR to turn off (poking my head inside the battery locker to check it's light) and only then start the engine.

Instead, I just turn the key

It really isn't much work to conect the wire either - simple wire to a positive terminal of starter solenoid.
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  #22  
Old 06-10-2008
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So is this ACR the thing that will prevent total destruction of all systems when I am the idiot who started the engine while the shore power battery charger was still on?
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  #23  
Old 06-10-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAGTIMEDON View Post
So is this ACR the thing that will prevent total destruction of all systems when I am the idiot who started the engine while the shore power battery charger was still on?
Even before the upgrade I did, I always have done that. As referenced in a post I did when I first joined Sailnet - there is no problems with starting engine with everything connected. In a properly designed circuit breaker panel system, the breakers would trip saving the electronics if such occurance were to unlikely occur. The ACR is designed to prevent the surge of combining batteries while starting not necessarily as surge suppression for the system as well as to prevent a voltage drop on the powered house circuits.

Its important to note that the ACR can be added into any system regardless if you use the Blue Seas switch or not. Its only meant to eliminate the hassles of charging and to combine battery banks for starting - that is it...

Here is how it all works even without the ACR:

1. When connected to shore power the Charger system handles power consumption of 12V devices onboard as well as tops off the batteries.

2. If engine is turned on and running while AC power is connected and charger is running, the charger senses 12V across the system and stops supplying 12Vs. It does this in milliseconds.

3. If Solar etc is used or onboard generator is kicked on while any of the above is going, it senses it can not feed the 12 V system and shunts off the rest.

You can't destroy your electrical system by turning the engine on with any of the above connected and running if properly installed, and wiring is done properly.
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Last edited by artbyjody; 06-10-2008 at 01:33 PM.
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  #24  
Old 06-10-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAGTIMEDON View Post
So is this ACR the thing that will prevent total destruction of all systems when I am the idiot who started the engine while the shore power battery charger was still on?
Nope, it won't help with that. This is one problem that I would be interested to find a solution to. For now I just try to remember to flip the right switch - though certainly an error could occur and would be pretty costly.
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Old 06-10-2008
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One article of interest for those with the ACR installed:

Add In-line Fuse to ACR Battery Negative Connection - Resources - Blue Sea Systems
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  #26  
Old 06-10-2008
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The zap stopper uses one commercially available diode, which can be bought for about $5 if you know where to look. Add some crimps, some heat shrink, a retail and distirbutor markup, and the $25 retail price isn't crazy. But not ethat if you have diodes "hanging in space" in your wiring harness, the vibration from the engine WILL break off their leads and they will become useless inshort order. They need to be solidly mounted to something.

I'd also suspect one or more of the alternator diodes fried, possibly not the regulator. Conventional alternators are 3-phase or 6-phase and if you blow one or two diodes, you get some reverse voltageinthe output which tricks a cheap voltmeter into seeing just a lower DC voltage level. AND--HEADS UP--if you blew a diode the battery will be discharging back through the blown diode. When you come back to the boat next week, the battery may be dead as a result of this, so you want to either check it now, or make sure the battery positive is disconnected completely from the alternator. (If you leave the DC power totally OFF when you leave the boat, that's safe.)

Either way, a replacement regulator or diode frame (these days you replace all the diodes as anassembly) from a shop should be a $50-75 repair including the time and part. Double that from any kind of "dealer". If you can diagnose it and order the part itself,a $25-50 repair.

Battery isolators and the like...a good idea to make the process more idiot proof. Any one of us can get tired, sunstruck, or just plain dopy and make an oops. Oops-proofing the battery selection isn't a bad idea.
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Old 06-11-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
. . . .was that a sarcastic reply or serious?
Not serious but thanks for the info anyway.

Just to elaborate on my apparently incorrect theory - when the batteries are combined, the 11v one will be "pumped up" by the 14v one and the regulator will read somewhere a little lower than 14v (because the house bank capacity is 5 times that of the start battery). The regulator would then react to the just-less-than-14v and back off the charge rate. The alternator would charge at a float rate. The flat battery will stay flat.

If the start battery is isolated and exposed to the regulator, the alternator will charge it at a flood rate. IMHO of course

Whether this is deemed by others to right or wrong, I have been successfully managing my batteries like this in boats and vehicles for longer than I can remember and will continue to do so. When I get too lazy to worry about it, I'll buy one of those whiz-kid thingies that do it automatically.

Andre
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Old 06-11-2008
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Originally Posted by artbyjody View Post
2. If engine is turned on and running while AC power is connected and charger is running, the charger senses 12V across the system and stops supplying 12Vs. It does this in milliseconds.
I am not sure this is universally true. My brand spanking new Xantrex Truecharge 40 appears to only stop and check voltage every few minutes. In between it keeps putting out the charge at the same voltage and rate. This is quite reasonable when charging batteries. In any case how can a charger feel what the voltage is without first turning off it's own voltage? So to check anything in milliseconds charger would have to start and stop charging with X milliseconds frequency. Sounds pretty inefficient to me.

So, with the charger on, when engine is started, charger is unlikely to "feel" anything right away. This may not be a problem in and of itself, I don't know - but I am pretty sure there will be additional power from charger provided.
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Old 06-11-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
Not serious but thanks for the info anyway.

Just to elaborate on my apparently incorrect theory - when the batteries are combined, the 11v one will be "pumped up" by the 14v one and the regulator will read somewhere a little lower than 14v (because the house bank capacity is 5 times that of the start battery). The regulator would then react to the just-less-than-14v and back off the charge rate. The alternator would charge at a float rate. The flat battery will stay flat.

If the start battery is isolated and exposed to the regulator, the alternator will charge it at a flood rate. IMHO of course

Whether this is deemed by others to right or wrong, I have been successfully managing my batteries like this in boats and vehicles for longer than I can remember and will continue to do so. When I get too lazy to worry about it, I'll buy one of those whiz-kid thingies that do it automatically.

Andre
Andre...the only thing I would disagree with above is that the "flat" battery, will eventually get charged first at an acceptance rate and then at float rate...but it will take significantly longer than if you just charged it separately (as you do) with full bulk rate voltage and amps.
I'm with you on the manual switches too!
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  #30  
Old 06-11-2008
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There are many different charging logic schemes used today. Silicon life forms are not terribly smart, but they can be wicked fast. A 40 year old Delcotron operates in the range of 20,000 cycles per second, and makes decisions about charging voltage in those millisecond slices by comparing the voltage on a dedicated "sense" lead, to the voltage on the battery charging lead. On boats with multiple battery banks there usually is no sense lead, or it is connected in a kludge fashion, so the regulator is often being misled, so to speak.

But in practical terms? Whether it adjusts charge 10000 times a second, or once every ten seconds, the battery will still be charged in the same amount of time. The only real difference is what the "brains" in the regulator are, and how easily or compactly they could be programmed. (i.e. compare voltages every x seconds, or compare them every time you switch on the output)

Hooking up two very differently discharged batteries to the same charger/regulator at the same time, will range from "not efficient" to "terribly inefficient", you'd have to do a little comparison testing to find out just how bad a particular setup was.
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