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-   -   Battery Set-Up for high powered stereo systems? (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=800467)

WLF 11-15-2013 9:52 AM

Battery Set-Up for high powered stereo systems?
O.k. it has probably been posted before...but have any of you guys out there with systems that are pushing 3,000W and higher done as far as supplying enough juice to them to keep the party going? I'm going to be running about 3500W in total. Last system had about 1700W and only three batteries...actually was surprised how well it worked and for how long. Do you run a separate bank for stereo only? Anyway...your feedback is appreciated.

chpthril 11-15-2013 10:14 AM

Youve abut doubled the RMS, so if you were happy with the play time of 3 batteries, then doubling the Ah would put you back in that neighborhood. If all you do is drop anchor and party, then a complete stand-alone stereo bank is a consideration. If you do ride some, then I would consider a setup that would allow for contribution from the alternator.

grant_west 11-15-2013 11:25 AM

That's a tough question to answer. I try and over battery systems and even then people s run out of power. I have never heard someone say they have 2 much battery power. Battery's are all rated diffrent. I can't tell you how many time people have asked "How Many Battery's do you have" that's the wrong question! The question is how many Amp Hrs do you have.

Example a blue top optima is 55 amp Hrs. The battery's I'm running are 105 amp hrs each.
So one could say I have the equivalent to 12 Optima's. But In reality I only have 6 battery's.

WLF 11-15-2013 11:42 AM

So grant_west, thank you for the reply. I get exactly what you are saying you can never have too much...what batteries are you running and what is your alternator rated at? I think my boat is a 95amp. Did you get an upgraded alternator? Do you run a separate bank with the switch?

bryce2320 11-15-2013 11:47 AM

Let's see pics of this high powered system!!!

bryce2320 11-15-2013 11:51 AM

Are you relying on shore charging or the alternator? If you can put your bank on the charger after a day at party cove, just use a perko and run a dedicated battery to start the boat on 1, and the stereo bank on 2. Run on all while you board or cruise, and when you drop anchor for the afternoon, run on 2. To start the boat go to 1 and charge your stereo bank at the house. I had 3200 watts rms in my last boat with 4 interstate 29s (115 amp hours each I think) and it was fine for what we did. I also added toggle switches so I could isolate the amps. Run the tower only or inboats only depending on what I was trying to accomplish.

Houstonshark 11-15-2013 12:03 PM

I've been using 3 of these for over a year and a half and really like them. You can find this 12V golf cart battery from several different manufacturers and it offers a lot of Ah for the buck at 150Ah for less than $200.

I found some top post adapters online for them so I could use regular battery terminals instead of ring terminals on the screw down post.

My system is right at 5000W RMS and have played it at a decent volume for almost 8hrs without the voltage dropping below 12.3V if I remember correctly.

They are fairly heavy at 82lbs.


grant_west 11-15-2013 12:06 PM

156452 (WLF) let's not talk about my system because that will side track this thread.

Bryce has a good question, Can you charge up at night via a shore power system. Because if you can and are willing to do so you can avoid the cost of a costly alternator and regulator and all the drama. But if your willing to spend $1500+ on a charging system I can recommend the Balmar Alterantor 150+ amp alternator & a Balmar (max charge) Voltage regulator.

If you decided to upgrade your alternator your battery system would blend with your current electrical system if you decided NOT to upgrade I would do a stereo system and battery bank that's separate from your stock charging system.

WLF 11-15-2013 12:53 PM

O.k. so yes, I can charge at night as I do have power that runs to my dock and hoist no problem. I spec'd the new boat with the on-boat battery charger.

So seems like the experts are saying:
Option 1) run a bank on a switch that I can charge up at night.
Option 2) run 3 of these golf cart batteries..I'd

I'm not going to upgrade the alternator if I can avoid it and get all crazy from that perspective.

What I don't want to do is have constant electrical issues, so I'd like to keep it as clean and simple as possible. I'm starting from a clean state and want to make sure I do it right the first time...It is not a budget issue, its a I want it rock solid issue no questions about it.


grant_west 11-15-2013 1:13 PM

Well for most people they are on a pretty tight budget. If that's the case you have to do a few extra steps to get the same result.

Example if you want to upgrade you stock chargeing system it's no big deal and can be done in a few hrs and will be Rock Solid and IMO way better then stock. But that's gonna set you back close to $1500 to $2000. Then your done. You can play and charge at the same time. Not that I recommend running your boat to sit and idle and charge up while your party but if you go camping with your boat and don't have access to shore power it's nice to NOT be adicted to the shore charger.

Yes golf carts are a great battery lots of power for a good price. Down side is you need to keep a eye on them for water. Sealed Golf carts are a better option because they are maint free. No need to keep a eye on the water level. Gell and AGM battery are more expensiveness but can be mounted on their side and tucked away a bit better if space is a issue.

So what route were u thinking.

#1 spend the cash and upgrade your charging system,
#2 build a stand alone system that's dependent on shore power.

Both have pros and cons and either one works just fine, depending on how u use your boat.
Example if your boat go's on a lift each night and never leaves your lake. I say just go with a stand alone.
You can always upgrade later if you wanna venture out

WLF 11-15-2013 1:30 PM

I am leaning towards keeping it stock...adding as many Ah that the stock alternator on the ILMOR 7.4 engine will keep charged. (my guess is 3 total)

Like you said I can upgrade at any point not a big deal. I kind of live my life by the saying "you don't know where the line is until you go ahead and step over it". I'll have to test what it is capable of then make the call from there. I never shore charged my old boat, so I think that will make a big difference.

Btw, I'll be running 200W to each of (10) JL 7.7's (6 in boat 4 towers), 200W to the 10" free air the boat comes with, and 1200W to a 13W7 ported box. Level controls on all the different zones from touch screen and platform remote.

chpthril 11-15-2013 1:59 PM


Originally Posted by WLF (Post 1853039)
I am leaning towards keeping it stock...adding as many Ah that the stock alternator on the ILMOR 7.4 engine will keep charged. (my guess is 3 total)


You need to keep in mind what the capabilities of an alternator really are, and recharging a depleted battery is not one of them. Even with a mild stereo and a single group-24 deep-cycle run down hard at the sandbar, will be a chore for a stock alternator to recharge, especially with a 15-20 minute ride back to the dock or slip. So if you do build a dedicated house bank and do plan to spend time playing at anchor, you may find the need for shore charging. Larger the bank, the more dependent you will be.

polarbill 11-16-2013 9:51 AM

Get a VSR(sure power, blue seas, etc) and a blue seas or perko style selector switch(if you don't already have one). Use one starting or dual purpose battery(flooded or AGM) to be the "primary/starting" battery. Maybe a group 24(if it has the CCA's required) or a group 27. Then buy as many group 31 or pairs of Golf cart batteries possible to become the "stereo" bank. Like Grant said there isn't really such a thing as too many batteries. At least as long as you don't get to the point of not being able to put people in the boat without it sinking. Run all, and I mean all, stereo equipment straight to the "stereo" bank. If you have this setup correctly and use it correctly your starting battery will take priority for charging from your alternator. Depending on how depleted your stereo bank is you will even get some charge to them from the alternator. A correctly functioning VSR will allow the alternator to charge the stereo bank but at the same time will disconnect the 2 banks so you don't overwork your alternator. Also make sure that in your wiring that you can completely disconnect the 2 battery banks(with the selector switch) for when you are charging off shore power.

Now when choosing batteries you have a bunch of options. You can go with pure lead AGM's like Odyssey, lifeline, etc but they are super crazy expensive. You can also go with an AGM like a Deka or a Trojan. Those are still expensive but not close to the price of the pure lead one's. The last option is to just use standard wet cell batteries. I don't see the reason to go with the pure lead one's. They generally need crazy charging characteristics(odyssey's want to see 15v to the batteries but your alternator likely only puts out 14.4V). I think if I was in your situation I would either decide to go with flooded and choose 4 Golf Cart 6V's(deka or Trojan) or go with 3 or 4 group 31 AGM's(deka or Trojan). Keep in mind that there is such a thing as a "starting" AGM and a more dual purpose/deep cycle AGM so make sure you pay attention when researching part numbers.

polarbill 11-16-2013 9:54 AM

As for the alternator my guess is you don't have a lot of room to add a much bigger alternator. One like Grant has on his boat might not even fit. Balmar has a 6 series(I think) that will put out up to 150 amps and is a good little alternator I believe but it is between 600-800 bucks I think.

For those that are looking for a slightly smaller fram high output marine alternator keep an eye out for Balmar's 200amp unit based off of Denso's square wire technology. These things are beasts for the size. Because of the square wire they were able to get a lot more copper inside a small place. They have a really great low end as well.

hatepain 11-16-2013 3:32 PM

4 or 500 ah should do the trick. I have a little over 500 and my RMS is 3800. I can run for several hours at 3/4 volume. I have an entirely separate stereo bank that's not connected to anything but my stereo and a shore charger. Which FYI is gonna run you another $400+ to get an adequate one for such a large set up.

As Grant said you have to look at AH not number of batteries. I only have two stereo bank batteries.

WLF 11-16-2013 4:47 PM

So hatenpain what do you use for a shore charger if you don't mind me asking? I like the thought process keeping it completely separate...my only slight concern is that I do have days where I've been out for 12 plus hous without being back at shore...if I could put the stereo on a switch so at the end of the day that would be the ticket.

Shewchuk 11-16-2013 5:17 PM

Hey guys,

To go with these stereo questions being asked I just wanted to know if you HAVE your system connected to the alternator IS IT BEST TO CONNECT:

a) The stereo battery on its own battery & connect BOTH the starter and house loads on the other battery?

b) Have the starter hooked to its own battery & have the other battery hooked to the stereoand house loads?


polarbill 11-16-2013 6:04 PM


Originally Posted by Shewchuk (Post 1853116)
Hey guys,

To go with these stereo questions being asked I just wanted to know if you HAVE your system connected to the alternator IS IT BEST TO CONNECT:

a) The stereo battery on its own battery & connect BOTH the starter and house loads on the other battery?

b) Have the starter hooked to its own battery & have the other battery hooked to the stereoand house loads?


Hook the starter and other system critcal loads to the starting battery. If you boat needs it to run hook it to the starting/priority battery.

chpthril 11-16-2013 9:06 PM


Originally Posted by Shewchuk (Post 1853116)
Hey guys,

To go with these stereo questions being asked I just wanted to know if you HAVE your system connected to the alternator IS IT BEST TO CONNECT:

a) The stereo battery on its own battery & connect BOTH the starter and house loads on the other battery?

b) Have the starter hooked to its own battery & have the other battery hooked to the stereoand house loads?


Not enough info about the system to give a clear cut answer, but heres is my take based on what is given. I would suggest having any and all loads that you would want to use when the engine is off, wired together. other wise, you might run both batteries down while at anchor. Wired together might mean directly to the House bank or maybe to the C post of a dual-battery switch.

WLF 11-18-2013 3:16 PM

O.k. I have a couple more pieces of information to throw in the mix, and now has me thinking of going a different route.

Alternator: I can get an custom 150 Amp Alternator for $400 installed right from my MC dealer. Add in a new battery switch adds $60. According to them this alternator will be able to handle a 4 bank of batteries that total 380 Ah. I would also have my on-board charger that I'd hook up to at night that would work with this system that would pretty much be "stock from the factory" all installed by my dealer (so essentially they would warranty everything they worked on).

That would probably give me a close to 4 hours of playing 3/4 volume without having to start her up.

Can anybody shoot holes in my logic and give me a reason to not go this route?

polarbill 11-18-2013 3:34 PM

I would be warry of a $400 150amp "custom" alternator. Find out what brand it is.

bryce2320 11-18-2013 4:00 PM

I was charged a dollar an amp to have a brand new stock 70 amp alternator beefed up to a 140 amp alternator. So 140 bucks and it didn't take long to put on my old DD. 400 seems steep if that's all they're having done. I still would rely on shore charging if you deplete all the house bank batteries. .02

grant_west 11-19-2013 8:38 AM

The digital voltage regulator is key in your updated chagrin system.
Example it's not the size of the alt that will decide if your alternator lives or has a smokey death.
If you threw a 400 amp alternator from a fire truck on your boat and ran your battery's flat and then fired your boat up your alternator would cook it self trying to recharge. The Balamar Max charge has a temp sence that will back the charge off when things start to get hot.

grant_west 11-19-2013 9:18 AM

Disclaimer; the only reason I keep beating the Balmar Drum is because I have had great success with their systems. They also have great customer support to walk you threw any questions you might have. But if you didn't go with the Balmar alternator you could still match brand X alternator with their Voltage regulator.
Their regulators can be programmed to charge all the diffrent styles if battery's AGM flooded and Gell, they even have a Special program just for Optima's. I
Think a smart regulator is a MUST in any system that has a large battery bank and your alternator
Is connected to you stereo's battery bank

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