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Old 03-20-2012
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12volt charge

Before I blow up my elecrtical system, would someone tell me if I can charge my twin bank batteries on my sail boat using the 12 volt outlet, as with regular car charging?... I desire to plug in a solar panel and it's the easiest access point. Also, "all" battery switch should be selected?, I do have a controller.
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Old 03-20-2012
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12volt charge

Anyone?
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Old 03-20-2012
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Re: 12volt charge

It will work just fine, as long as you have a solar panel regulator. That cigarette lighter adapter plug is nothing more than an extension cord to your batteries--nothing more. The battery switch should be on ALL for it to charge all the batteries at the same time, but if you only have two batteries in the boat and a battery switch that is 1, 2, All, I would recommend just charging one battery at a time--just to be on the safe side.

Hope this helps,

Gary
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Old 03-20-2012
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12volt charge

Thank you, very helpful. I'm trying to become less dependent and solar power is my 1st step.
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Old 03-20-2012
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Re: 12volt charge

I use a single, 15-watt solar panel to keep 4-golf cart and 1-deep cycle marine battery charged. I check them every week with a hydrometer and they're in perfect condition. Some of the golf cart batteries are 6 years old and still working just fine.

Gary

Last edited by travlineasy; 03-20-2012 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 03-20-2012
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Re: 12volt charge

Using the cig lighter outlet is fine; as Gary says, it's just a connection to your battery.

One good reason not to set the selector to 'All' is if one batt has been drained and the other is topped up. When connected together, current will flow from the 'good' batt to the 'bad' one with no regulation. I'm not an expert, but I'd make sure they are within half a volt of each other, before you connect them. If it were me, I'd charge one batt one week and then the other for the next week and never connect them. I would only use 'All' if both batts are weak and you think together they might have enough juice to start the engine.

Imagine if you set the switch to 'All' and some fault in the system killed both batts while you're away.

Again, I'm not an expert.

When I set up my charger, I hook it right to the battery and leave the panel off. This eliminates any 'vampire' loads (like the panel 'ON' light) and reduces the risk of a fault draining the batt (and ruining it if you don't catch it in time).
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Old 03-21-2012
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12volt charge

Some very good information, I'll put it to use...
...any thoughts on adequate inverter size to keep on board?, charge/run basic items.. VHF, phone, gps, maybe small fan on the hook..
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Old 03-21-2012
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Re: 12volt charge

The VHF, GPS and cellular telephone will all run on 12-volts DC. I have a 70-watt inverter on the boat that runs a 21-inch flat screen TV and the laptop computer. I also have a 150-watt inverter that is used for my wife's IPPB breathing machine.

Cheers,

Gary
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Old 03-22-2012
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Re: 12volt charge

If you have a cheap solar panel like the small piece of junk I got a Harbor Freight and returned which puts out unregulated 24v, you could blow something out if you turn the battery switch off disconnecting the battery and some low power device like a depth sounder is connected to the circuit.
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Old 03-22-2012
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12volt charge

Northern tools has 15 w panels in sale for $69... I picked up a couple if those... Nor sure if it's cheap quality, but the price is right. Thanks for the tip.
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