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  #1  
Old 02-03-2012
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Advice on adding starter battery

I hope this is not a redundant question for the forum but I want to add a starter battery just for that purpose to my existing two deep cycle batteries. At this time I have the typical battery switch for each battery as a separate bank: battery 1, both, battery 2. A common suggestion is to put in parallel both deep cycle batteries as one bank and and add the starter battery as the second bank. I have a Zantrex truecharge2 40amp charger. My questions are:

1. is this the best way of setting it up?
2. can I set up the alternator to charge both starter battery and
house bank under power or do I need to add another switch solely for
the starter battery so I can switch over to either bank?
3. if a starter battery switch is needed, any suggestions?

I will be in the near future adding a 135W solar panel to the system with a charge controller if this will make a difference.
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Old 02-03-2012
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Yes it makes sense to parallel your 2 deep cycles and wire a separate starter battery to the other switch position.

The 1/2/both/off switch you have is fine.

The alternator can be set up to charge both banks in several ways, some better than others.

1. Wire the alternator output to the common on the switch. This is what most builders do and has several issues as it puts the control of which battery is being charged on you. You have to be in both to charge both banks. If you forget and leave it on both you will discharge both banks. If you or a guest turns it to off while the engine is running you will likely blow diodes in the alt.

2. Wire the alternator direct to the house bank - the bank most in need. An ACR SI-Series Automatic Charging Relay*—*Blue Sea Systems or an Echo Charge Battery Chargers | Auxiliary Battery Charger | Xantrex can be purchased and installed easily which will automatically charge the start battery. The switch becomes for use not charging and errors cannot be made. By far the best method.

Your TrueCharge charger will charge multiple banks. If using an ACR or Echo Charge I would wire it as a single output to the house bank - the above devices will take care of the start battery.

The solar controller or any other charge sources such as a wind gen can be added, their output going to the house bank.
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Old 02-03-2012
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Brian, thanks for your advice.
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