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post #1 of 30 Old 04-26-2012 Thread Starter
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Please critique my charging schematic

Hello everyone

I have a 1978 Catalina 30, which needs basically an entirely new charging and electrical system. Unfortunately, I'm not very experienced with electrical stuff, so I've been reading a lot here, talking with people, and doing research, and I've come up with the schematic that I have attached here. I'd love people's feedback, especially on wire gauges etc. Also, do you think I could get away with a Home Depot crimper for the big battery wires? If not, is that something I could find someone to do for me.....thanks for your help!
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post #2 of 30 Old 04-26-2012
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Greg,

Hello, Electronic tech here, not boat tech, but anyway. The crimp is ok if tight and thats the way the charger people want the heavy wires. My question is what draw will the starter have? What guage is that wire, couldn't read it. Everything might be fine.

good luck

Dan
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post #3 of 30 Old 04-26-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Please critique my charging schematic

Hey Dan

Thanks for the reply.
The wire for the starter is 1 gauge, which is already existing. I'm just going to re-route the current wire to a different battery bank.

Thanks for checking the system out!
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post #4 of 30 Old 04-26-2012
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Re: Please critique my charging schematic

What size fuse are you using?

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Re: Please critique my charging schematic

Hey johnny....
I was thinking 150amp
g
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Re: Please critique my charging schematic

Thanks - am looking to do something similar, and sized the fuse at 135 amp, but not sure that is sufficient.

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post #7 of 30 Old 04-26-2012
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Re: Please critique my charging schematic

sf-
A lot of folks have ordered their wires, very competitively priced, from GenuineDealz.com where despite the kitchy name, they have premium marine cable AND they will put the lugs on for you at about the same price you would pay for just buying lugs. No need to buy the expensive crimping tool that way, very much worth looking at.

Unless I misunderstand how an echocharger is supposed to be installed, I think you have the "on/off" and '1/2' switches and echocharger miswired. You don't need the on/off switch. If you select #1(a) from the a/b/both switch, you connect directly to the starting battery. If you select #2(b) you get the house battery. And then you let the echocharger connect from battery #1, your starter, to #2, so that whenever you have started and run from the starting battery, as soon as it is topped up, the echocharger starts charging your house bank as well. (Or vice versa.)
If you start from "all", the echo charger becomes a moot point since you're then charging all. BlueSeas and West should both have topical diagrams on their FAQ/advisor pages.

I'd also suggest looking for battery switch that had "field disconnect" terminals built into it. With most alternators, if you switch the batteries while the engine is running, you can blow out the alternator. With a switch that has the extra field disconect leads, you can't do that. A call to BlueSeas (or someone else who makes them) with your alternator model number in hand will tell you if this is of use for you. Some, not many but some, alternators have internal protection which makes this a useless expense. But as long as you are starting from scratch, take a look into it.
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post #8 of 30 Old 04-26-2012
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Re: Please critique my charging schematic

I also question the need for the on/off switch. If you search around the forum you'll see lots of discussions and many members of the forum make a strong case for a simple set up using only one switch and an echo/acr.

What I'm suggesting is to remove the on/off switch and simply wire the starting battery to the 2 position, then wire the stater to the C position (where you have the DC loads). So when you get to the boat simply switch to position 1 and start off the house bank (your two 6V's will have no problem here), the echo will ensure the starter battery is always topped off but it will really be relegated to the role of reserve, not starter.

You should consider using a deep cycle or dual purpose battery for reserve because it's unlikely you need the extra cranking amps so why not have extra deep cycle capacity in case you need it.

Also look at fusing at the battery with these (they have a single version too):
Defender.com Search Results: terminal fuse block

This is an excellent compact switch:
M-Series (Mini) Battery Switch Selector

Personally I'm rebuilding my system right now as I described with a bluesea ACR (auto charging relay) although the echo performs basically the same role (I almost regret having the ACR instead of the echo because the echo has smaller wires).

EDIT: I also second GenuineDealz.com, the only downside is you need to get all your lengths and terminal width right ahead of time.

Last edited by asdf38; 04-26-2012 at 08:28 PM.
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Re: Please critique my charging schematic

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
sf-

I'd also suggest looking for battery switch that had "field disconnect" terminals built into it. With most alternators, if you switch the batteries while the engine is running, you can blow out the alternator. With a switch that has the extra field disconect leads, you can't do that. A call to BlueSeas (or someone else who makes them) with your alternator model number in hand will tell you if this is of use for you. Some, not many but some, alternators have internal protection which makes this a useless expense. But as long as you are starting from scratch, take a look into it.
Unless I'm missing something (I just had to look up the echo) I think he's fine. The alt is hardwired to the house at all times and to the starter through the echo. So there is no way to blow the alt here. It's just I think it's overly complex and sticks to the unnecessary system of separating the role of starter and house.
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post #10 of 30 Old 04-26-2012
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Re: Please critique my charging schematic

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
sf-
A lot of folks have ordered their wires, very competitively priced, from GenuineDealz.com where despite the kitchy name, they have premium marine cable AND they will put the lugs on for you at about the same price you would pay for just buying lugs. No need to buy the expensive crimping tool that way, very much worth looking at.
Mike at Genuinedealz is excellent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Unless I misunderstand how an echocharger is supposed to be installed, I think you have the "on/off" and '1/2' switches and echocharger miswired. You don't need the on/off switch. If you select #1(a) from the a/b/both switch, you connect directly to the starting battery. If you select #2(b) you get the house battery. And then you let the echocharger connect from battery #1, your starter, to #2, so that whenever you have started and run from the starting battery, as soon as it is topped up, the echocharger starts charging your house bank as well. (Or vice versa.)
If you start from "all", the echo charger becomes a moot point since you're then charging all. BlueSeas and West should both have topical diagrams on their FAQ/advisor pages.

I suspect he is trying to add a dedicated start battery but also retain all the redundancy the 1/2/BOTH has.

I thinks this is what he was aiming for.


With this simple but very redundant system you retain all the isolation & redundancy of the 1/BOTH/2/OFF switch, already there on most boats, yet add a dedicated direct wired starting battery. Simply flip to #1/HOUSE and ON and your ready to go. When you're done flip both switches to OFF.

If the start battery were to fail flip the ON/OFF to OFF and the 1/BOTH/2/OFF to BOTH and now the house bank is starting and providing house loads. Conversely you can still use the start bank to power house loads in an emergency with the 1/BOTH/2/OFF in position #2 and the start switch to ON all while isolating the house bank in the event of a failure.

This system is more complicated but ultimately considerably more flexible than some other systems where you must use the "combine" feature in an emergency. Three properly wired ON/OFF's will do the same but now you need three switches..


Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
I'd also suggest looking for battery switch that had "field disconnect" terminals built into it. With most alternators, if you switch the batteries while the engine is running, you can blow out the alternator. With a switch that has the extra field disconect leads, you can't do that.

Not necessary with his diagram as the alt will always see a load. The alt is fed directly to the house bank and the Echo takes off of there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Some, not many but some, alternators have internal protection which makes this a useless expense. But as long as you are starting from scratch, take a look into it.
I think some of the newer Valeo's on Volvo's may have avalanche diodes but his factory Motorola would not. Beyond that I know of no "marine" alternators that use avalanche diodes, as of yet..



My only "critique" would be.

1- Consider fusing the start battery. 1GA wire with a 105C jacket can handle 245A outside an engine space and 208 inside. However for short circuit protection the ABYC allows you to go to 150% of the 100% ampacity rating. I would suggest a minimum of a 200A ANL or MRBF fuse if you are starting the engine...

2- The house MAY need to be used for starting loads, it is wired so it could be, so that fuse and all wiring to and from the house bank should be the same gauge as the starting circuit both - & +... 6GA is quite small for starting a motor. Unless your house bank can never be used for starting purposes, meaning no "combine" switch and no electrical way to do it then the house bank wiring should be sized for starting loads.

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 04-26-2012 at 08:56 PM.
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