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  #11  
Old 09-08-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halekai36 View Post
I remember seeing locking battery switches a while back but have not seen any as of late?
Perko makes one: BATTERY SWITCH LOCKING 250A CONT. 360A INTERMITT 139488 - but it looks like it only locks in "OFF," which kind of makes sense.

Jim
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  #12  
Old 09-08-2008
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Halekai, (and others)

Try this:

$18.36 + tax at Home Creepo

RiteTemp Clear Thermostat Guard Box With Key Lock Fits Most Popular Thermostat Brands - 6001 at The Home Depot

Or do a google search on "locking thermostat covers"

If that don't work, you can always try duct tape
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Last edited by eherlihy; 09-08-2008 at 04:31 PM.
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  #13  
Old 09-08-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halekai36
If you shut the engine down soon after for an emergency repair you could still be screwed..
This is the scenario that worries me. True, it's not extremely likely, but neither is it all that far-fetched.

By my way of thinking, the ideal system would always start by recharging the starting battery. After all, in any situation the one thing you want to be able to do is to start the engine, so that you can get the alternator working.

So my ideal control system would detect when a charging source came online (be it alternator, solar, shore-power, or whatever) and then first recharge the starting battery. Once the starting battery was full (and most of the time this should take very little charging) then it would begin charging the house bank.

My question is, is there any simple system out there that behaves like this?
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Old 09-08-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
This is the scenario that worries me. True, it's not extremely likely, but neither is it all that far-fetched.

By my way of thinking, the ideal system would always start by recharging the starting battery. After all, in any situation the one thing you want to be able to do is to start the engine, so that you can get the alternator working.

So my ideal control system would detect when a charging source came online (be it alternator, solar, shore-power, or whatever) and then first recharge the starting battery. Once the starting battery was full (and most of the time this should take very little charging) then it would begin charging the house bank.

My question is, is there any simple system out there that behaves like this?
If you use an Echo type charger this is a non issue as the engine uses VERY, VERY little load to start the engine and the bat will barely even accept 1-2 amps at best.

I can start my 44 hp diesel and not even register .1 amp hours of load use on my XBM battery monitor. Starting batteries see very little load so recharging them is not necessarily a "priority" because even after a start they are still at least 99.6 - 99.9% charged in most situations. Unfortunately, in the scenario above the depleted house bank when combined is a much more significant load to the start battery and then it does need charging.

My engine fires up with about six seconds of "glow" and about 2-3 seconds of crank and again won't even register ah's consumed on my battery meter.

That being said I have been running charging/combining relays for years with zero issues. My next battery upgrade however will be an Echo Charger..
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  #15  
Old 09-08-2008
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It was my understanding that's how the ACR works. When the charging process starts, while the output of the regulator may be a high voltage, the voltage of the system doesn't reach the level necessary for combining to occur until after the battery that is connected to the regulator is charged. Then the two banks are combined. But I could be wrong.
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Old 09-08-2008
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Have you even read what the Dual Circuit Plus battery switch can do.

In what universe did it say that it would AUTOMATICALLY combine the batteries for starting the engine.
I'd really appreciate if you'd point out where the documentation for it says that it can automatically combine the batteries to start the engine.

It doesn't combine the batteries unless the switch is turned to the COMBINE position. It can't. It is a simple mechanical switch. Take it apart and you'll see that there is no provision for it doing what you say it can do.

BTW, this is not the only time you've given seriously wrong information on this switch, and I wish you'd stop doing it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by artbyjody View Post
Well there are four posts on that selector combiner switch. That is probably a decent idea there Jbondy - but one that is unneccesary I think as a short anywhere in your starting system will trip the inline fuses (assuming you have those installed per Blue Seas documentation).

Commenting on some other posts here:


What people fail to realize that it automatically handles the starting battery when starting the engine with no need for combining. Even if the starter battery goes low it will auto switch to the house banks for brief seconds it needs to start the engine. The combining mode is for manual handling (which in most cases you will never use). Of course this only occurs if you have the ACR inline with the combining switch.

I have yet had the need to ever to do the combine function other than in testing and troubleshooting of various electrical gremlins as I re-wire the boat.

I don't know anything about the echo charger system, but for what it is worth the Blue Seas solution works incredibly well. Unlike when I had my Catalina with just a perko 1/2/both/off switch - I have yet to actually use the switch for starting etc...and it has been one of the few upgrades i have done that takes the nuisances out of the sailing regimen I learned I had to deal with with my previous setup...
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  #17  
Old 09-08-2008
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Halekai is correct: the Balmar DuoCharge or the Xantrex EchoCharge devices are the preferred way to go, because:

1. Their operation is totally automatic; you don't need to switch any switches.

2. They are not combiners and, as he correctly pointed out, it's not a good idea to combine batteries with markedly different charge levels.

3. Instead, they do exactly what denverDon wished: they do nothing UNTIL they sense a charging voltage on the house batteries. Then, they bleed off whatever current is required (up to 30A for the DuoCharge or up to 15A for the EchoCharge) to completely charge the starting battery.

4. Halekai is also correct in that it takes very little AH to start a diesel. If your diesel starts normally, i.e., in a few seconds, only a tiny amount of AH will be withdrawn from the battery. This requires only a very short time @ 30A or 15A....minutes really...to completely recharge the start battery.

5. These devices will not overcharge your start battery. They just sit there doing their own thing, requiring NO maintenance or other intervention on your part.

My EchoCharge has worked flawlessly for four years now (attached to a 675AH house bank and a 100AH start battery...all flooded). I've installed a number of DuoCharge's on customer's boats. All work perfectly, so far as I know.

There is NO WAY you can wire a boat so that you can match these results. NO HUMAN INTERVENTION -- switching this and switching that -- can match this.

And, while battery combiners and islolaters will work, neither is a good idea IMHO when there are better alternatives to not only work but protect and prolong the life of your very expensive batteries.

Bill
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  #18  
Old 09-08-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Have you even read what the Dual Circuit Plus battery switch can do.

In what universe did it say that it would AUTOMATICALLY combine the batteries for starting the engine. I'd really appreciate if you'd point out where the documentation for it says that it can automatically combine the batteries to start the engine.

It doesn't combine the batteries unless the switch is turned to the COMBINE position. It can't. It is a simple mechanical switch. Take it apart and you'll see that there is no provision for it doing what you say it can do.

BTW, this is not the only time you've given seriously wrong information on this switch, and I wish you'd stop doing it.
Whoa - I thought you were shouting at me there, for a sec!! Pheww!
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  #19  
Old 09-08-2008
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Automatic combining?

Quote:
What people fail to realize that it automatically handles the starting battery when starting the engine with no need for combining. Even if the starter battery goes low it will auto switch to the house banks for brief seconds it needs to start the engine. The combining mode is for manual handling (which in most cases you will never use). Of course this only occurs if you have the ACR inline with the combining switch.
Uhmmm... Jody - I'm not sure that's the way it really works. The Blues Seas ACR can handle 120 amps continuous, 280 amps inrush, and I'm pretty sure that you would cook it if you tried to pull the engine starting current across the relay.

Plus, I don't think the ACR closes until it sees a charge voltage on the upstream battery (greater than 13 volts) and that won't happen when you are trying to start on a dead battery. In fact I think the ACR would want to stay open under heavy current draw on the starting battery to avoid the load on one battery from draining the other.

Edit - I missed page 2, I see saildog has already used a seriously large font to point out this same thing. Perhaps too large a font in my view.

Last edited by TaylorC; 09-08-2008 at 06:31 PM. Reason: Missed page 2
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Old 09-08-2008
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ACR relay

Didn't the OP say he had the Blue sea automatic charging relay system. I think the relay will charge either bank automatically regardless of where the switch is set. Thats the whole idea of the system isn't it? I also understand that you have to be carefull when using multi stage chargers because of sensing issues when in float stage (charging voltage 2 low for proper operation).
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