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post #1 of 9 Old 08-02-2009 Thread Starter
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Operating 12V system from shorepower

Hi all,
Just moved aboard my PSC 34' and am realizing that operating all my 12V stuff from batteries is a chore. Have any of you created some type of system to convert 110V to 12VDC to operate all systems thus saving the headache of running the charger against the batteries off and on.

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Keith
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-02-2009
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I have stayed on my boat for extended periods and just plugged into shore power and let the charger do its job, so I really don't understand why this would be a problem with a smart charging system.

Having said this, there are 12V power supplies that do just what you ask. I have one on my motor home and it is independent of the battery system. When shore power (yes the RV community uses that term) is applied the battery is taken off the bus and the power supply takes over.

I could never get an answer as to why this was done on RV's as it requires an extra relay to take the battery off of the 12V bus when external power is applied. Maybe it allows a smaller cheaper charger to be used.

Herb DuBois
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-02-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HerbDB View Post
I have stayed on my boat for extended periods and just plugged into shore power and let the charger do its job, so I really don't understand why this would be a problem with a smart charging system.

Having said this, there are 12V power supplies that do just what you ask. I have one on my motor home and it is independent of the battery system. When shore power (yes the RV community uses that term) is applied the battery is taken off the bus and the power supply takes over.

I could never get an answer as to why this was done on RV's as it requires an extra relay to take the battery off of the 12V bus when external power is applied. Maybe it allows a smaller cheaper charger to be used.
I don't understand, with my invertor/charger combo, there is no switching
you can use 110, 12v and it charges at the same time.
Tom

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post #4 of 9 Old 08-02-2009
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The converter charges the batteries automatically and we just use the 12 volt system at will when plugged in 110V 30 amp shore power. If your converter is automatic you should have no action required. Ed

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post #5 of 9 Old 08-02-2009
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One of the better qualities of modern chargers. That if you hook up to AC and the charger is activated - you get 12VDC on that bus plus charging. Really a no -brainer in most cases unless you have a issue with a DC circuit being shorted..In other words you can run 12VDC and the charger and - and meet your expectations...

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post #6 of 9 Old 08-03-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teejayevans View Post
I don't understand, with my invertor/charger combo, there is no switching
you can use 110, 12v and it charges at the same time.
Tom
My boat works the same as yours, but he was asking if anyone had an AC to DC converter.

I probably confused the issue by mentioning that this is how my motor home is set up. It has a power converter that operates off of external power or the generator. When AC is available the converter powers all 12v appliances. When external power is connected, a relay takes the batteries off the DC bus and connects the charger to the battery; at the same time it connects the power converter output to the DC bus.

If I set it up on a seasonal site for example, I could remove the batteries and everything would still work. I am not sure you could do this with our boats.

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post #7 of 9 Old 08-03-2009 Thread Starter
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My charger

Thanks all,
I think the key is to simply have a good "Smart" charging system. My PSC 34' was built in 1988 and my guess is that this is not a very smart charger. I worry because when my ice box is not cycling my charger is continuing to charge the batteries (I believe) and my fear is that I'll cook them. I think I'm gonna look into a smart charger so that I won't have any issues with overcooking my batteries.

Keith
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-04-2009
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Replace the old charger with a newer one and it will provide whatever amperage you're requiring at the moment in addition to what's needed at the batteries.

I replaced my stock charger with the Freedom 20 which also gave me a decent inverter and echo charge for the starter battery. I got mine 3 years ago refurbished with factory warranty for a couple hundred - a good purchase.

Steve
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-05-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevemac00 View Post
Replace the old charger with a newer one and it will provide whatever amperage you're requiring at the moment in addition to what's needed at the batteries.

I replaced my stock charger with the Freedom 20 which also gave me a decent inverter and echo charge for the starter battery. I got mine 3 years ago refurbished with factory warranty for a couple hundred - a good purchase.
Yeah, that's the simple answer. Get rid of the old "auto" style battery charger (that were used on boats of your vintage) and invest your money in a good smart charger. No need to have a DC converter like Herb has in his RV. (Herb, there must be a reason why they do this.... I'm intrigued???)

This way you get all the 12V power you could possibly use and a nice smart charger for the batteries. We have the Xantrex (Statpower) Truecharge, but the Freedom that Steve mentioned gets you an inverter as well.

Just make sure it's properly sized for your battery bank. Many of us get by with 20 amp chargers, but a bigger bank would benefit from the 40 amp versions. If you have plenty of time for the charging, 20 amps will do it, but the advantage of the higher-amp charger is that it will get them charged quicker.


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