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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 08-31-2008
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Changing between banks (1, 2 or both) there is quite possibly no contact until it "clicks" into place and then there is a solid contact ie: there is no power to anything while changing banks (this prevents power surges and shorts). I had always been told to leave both on while engine was running to charge both. The designation of "engine" battery really means that you aren't supposed to use it for a reading light. If my fan belt were to break the engine would over heat before the batteries were depleted, diesels don't require much in the way of electrical power to run
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Old 08-31-2008
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Originally Posted by wolfenzee View Post
Changing between banks (1, 2 or both) there is quite possibly no contact until it "clicks" into place and then there is a solid contact ie: there is no power to anything while changing banks (this prevents power surges and shorts).
Contrary to popular belief most every battery switch made in the last 25+ or so years have been of the make before break style. Like the ones linked to bellow:

Description:

* Accepts up to 4/0 battery cables
* Luminous label for low light reading
* Ignition protected - Safe for installation aboard gasoline powered boats
* 3/8"-16 tin-plated copper studs for maximum conductivity and corrosion resistance
* Make-before-break contact design for switching between battery banks without power interruption
* AFD (Alternator Field Disconnect) switch
* Meets all American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) requirements for battery switches
* Tactile textures indicate knob position by feel only
* Case design allows surface or flush mounting
* Fits all Perko low amperage battery switch hole patterns.


High Performance Battery Switch


Or this one:
  • Vaporproof, water-resistant, dustproof, and corrosion-resistant.
  • UL and CE rated.
  • Ignition protected to conform to USCG safety standard 183.410.
  • Functions with alternators or generators.
  • Make before break design
Dual battery Selector Switch



If you don't pass through the OFF position with most any 1/2/Both/Off switch you will not fry your diodes unless your switch is really, really old or really, really worn. Still many folks switch through off and toast the alternator. There are a ton of threads on this forums where members have done just that.
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 08-31-2008 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 08-31-2008
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Well some good information here, lots that I didn't know before thanks for all the replies. For now I'll be installing a new battery switch soon and possibly a charging relay of some type, and I will be running primarily off the "house" battery saving the other one for occasional use and emergencies. So I take it $360 for an alternator is small potatoes!!?? Eh I'm a new boat owner (actually I owned a boat before but it was a 10' inflatable, no alternator on that guy) and I'm still in shock at the cost of parts.
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Old 08-31-2008
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So I take it $360 for an alternator is small potatoes!!?? Eh I'm a new boat owner (actually I owned a boat before but it was a 10' inflatable, no alternator on that guy) and I'm still in shock at the cost of parts.
Unfortunately yes $360.00 is not a lot of money for a marine alternator. Some alternators will run close to $400.00 alone then you need a regulator which can run an additional $250.00 to $400.00 depending on model. Then there is always the fact that many of these high output alts may require custom made brackets to fit and your talking even more $$$..

Welcome to big boat ownership... B.O A.T = Break Out Another Thousand !!
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Old 09-01-2008
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FishFinder,

I'm thinking of replacing our worn battery switch, which does the same thing yours does, with this system: Add a Battery - Blue Sea Systems. Turn switch on: Start battery connected to starter, house bank battery/batteries connected to house systems. None of this "1/2/Both" stuff . Switch has a "combine" in case it's needed. ACR ensures both batteries/banks get charged. A little over $100 at various places.

Jim
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Old 09-01-2008
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SemiJim-

YOu're talking about the BlueSea dual circuit plus battery switch... I installed it on my boat and two others so far.... and they're great, especially with the combiner.
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Old 09-01-2008
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Rover06 on Flickr - Photo Sharing! shows my electrical system (somewhat) but enough to show my battery switch. My engine was replaced about 17 years ago but any electrical upgrades would have been earlier.
click on little magnifiying glass where it says "all sizes" to get better view

Last edited by wolfenzee; 09-01-2008 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 09-01-2008
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Diodes are killed by a back high voltage pulse (peak reverse voltage)produced by the alternator coils when you abruptly disconnect the alternator on the battery with a defective switch or. My simple solution: I connected the alternator directly on the house bank and I charge the Start battery with the dock charger or put the battery switch to Both occasionnaly when the house bank is near full.
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Old 09-02-2008
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So if I add a single starting battery with an isolator between my existing 2-banks (2x 280Ah house/starting); I could have a starting circuit that protects my engine alternator and leave the 2-banks on my safety main as-wired?

Can the starting bank be isolated from the ignition switch; so that section does not need to be wired directly to the starting bank?
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Old 09-02-2008
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My battery switches have been on ALL since I bought the boat 14 years ago, but for reasons which probably don't apply in this case. I have 3 gel cell banks, and combining them cuts down on the discharge percentages and extends their life. However, I have alternative charging sources (solar, wind and water), and can recover from a shorted cell.

In this case, installing a ZAPSTOP would be the cheapest and easiest way to keep from frying the diodes when the in-laws are 'helping'.
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