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I have a typical two battery system, with heavy duty cables (#1) going to a 1-both-2 switch, and then to the starter and the main panel. In another thread, I've discussed and decided to put a fuse in the line, right at the switch, going to the main panel (haven't done it yet, but on the list). This all is neat, functional, legal, and I understand it.

My issue is the "other" connections. In addition to the main panel, nicely connected by a single wire to the switch, I have things that come off the hot side of the switch, in a messy array of protected and unprotected wires. These include:
* One wire to each battery for the battery meter
* One wire to each battery for the battery charger
* One wire to a battery for the bilge pump
* One wire to a battery for the stereo "memory" line

These all are a problem. They are most definitely NOT "neat," or "legal" and I barely understand it. As a small bit of additional information, the backside of my battery switch is in an awkward location in the engine compartment.

So, here's the question. How do I neatly and legally clean this up? I could, I guess, run individual wires to each battery "plus," with an in-line fuse. Messy and unsatisfactory. There would be 2 to 4 of these hanging on each battery. I could run all the wires to a single buss, and then a single wire to the battery (or one wire would work nicely on the battery switch), since many of the loads are trivial and a 5 amp fuse would meet all these needs while protecting all the wires -- except for the 40 amp battery charger! I could run a single heavy wires, with a 50 amp inline fuse, from each battery to a fuse block. Lots of extra parts and mounting and cost for only 6 connections.

Or, perhaps, I could run the battery charger directly to each battery (short lines are good!) with an inline fuse. Then pull all the remaining loads off the battery switch, with a small (5 or 10 Amp) inline fuse to a pair of buss-bars (or could I terminate all the lines in rings, and bolt them together?)

Any thoughts?
Harry
'79 Sabre 34
Annapolis
 

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you could run a line to a buss bar that was fuse protected for the largest load and run everything from there with smaller fuses. done right it would be nice and clean looking. figure you need about #6 with a 50 amp fuse, if the run is under a few feet to be able to carry the charger as well.
 

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The fuse you're going to install should be close to the batteries (within 7" according to ABYC) as it's job is to protect the wire from batteries to switch. If it's near the switch it's protection of wire from battery to switch is not very good. If you have a house bank and a start battery your best bet is to send all charge sources to the house bank and use a battery combiner or Echocharge (which I prefer) to charge the start battery. That way the wiring is simpler, there is no chance of putting the switch in the wrong position and either depleting the start battery if on "both" or frying diodes in the alternator if it is switched while the engine is running. This means the charger output goes only to house bank. If you use an Echocharge it has only 3 wires - ground and one to house+ and one to start+. The best way to treat extra wires is with a bus if there are many to deal with. An "always hot" bus can be used for bilge pump and stereo memory wiring. With this system charger goes direct to house + and ground. That only leaves voltmeter wiring to deal with and that can go to start + and house bus. I hope this helps.
Brian
 
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