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Old     (brycejb328)      Join Date: Aug 2009       05-04-2013, 7:50 AM Reply   
I know this has probably been beaten to death. But I hate re-reading old and possibly outdated threads.

I currently have a 2 battery system that is on a simple disconnect switch, both batteries on, or both batteries off. On my old boat, I successfully installed and utilized the perko "all, 1 or 2" battery switch without ever encountering a problem in regards to being stranded with my starting battery dead or worse, both batteries dead. I just switched to battery 2 (house/deep cycle that powered all the stereo stuff) when we were floating/listening to music.

SO... is a battery isolator really worth it? I like the idea that you can just forget about i, but is it really that easy? Is relying on something complex like a voltage sensing relay that reliable, certainly these have an increased likelihood to fail versus a simple switch. Is it work the extra $100 for something like the blue sea system. That extra $100 could go towards a really nice house battery ;-)
Old     (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       05-04-2013, 8:12 AM Reply   
If you are diligent and in the habit, I think a perko switch will work just fine.

Personally I am too absent minded and I like the peace if mind of an automatic system.
Old     (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       05-04-2013, 8:37 AM Reply   
I would stay away from an isolator if you are talking about a traditional diode based isolator. They generally cause a voltage drop of 1 volt, meaning your batteries will never see a full 14.4V like they should. A voltage sensing relays isn't really a complicated idea and would be super easy for you to install if you want to keep it the simplest possible. Basically you wire the batteries in parallel with the VSR(at least a sure power) inline on the positive side, between the 2 batteries. Then all you have to do is run a small negative wire to the negative on one of the batteries. Basically when you turn the boat off it would be like disconnecting the batteries. When the boat is running the batteries will combine and charge together. If you are going to use a VSR like the sure power just make sure you treat it like a stereo bank and a starting bank instead of a primary bank and a backup bank. The best part about the VSR is it takes the guess work out of if and seperates the banks automatically so you can spend less time f'ing with a switch and more time relaxing. The only way it would leave you high and dry is if somehow the contacts in the realy welded together and the relay never disconnected the batteries. You would essentially be back to to a one battery setup. I haven't heard of this happening though.

I think a perko or blue seas type selector switch or a VSR are both great as long as you know how to use and wire them. My favorite setup though would be to use a selector switch in conjunction with a VSR. The sure power 1314 or 1315 isnt' a huge investment either. Check out ASE Supply in portland's price on these. A 1314a for $54 and about $40 for a cole hersee selector switch. I have these in stock as well but am around $60 for the 1314A and about the same on the selector switch. If you do end up buying from ASE call and ask for Ken. He is a wakeworlder.

http://www.ase-supply.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=m750

http://www.ase-supply.com/Sure_Power...sp-1314a-b.htm
Old     (brycejb328)      Join Date: Aug 2009       05-04-2013, 8:57 AM Reply   
I guess what I meant was a voltage sensing relay. What turned me on to it was the blue sea one I saw on west marine's website.

Which seems to be similar to what Brett is talking about, a voltage sensing relay and a switch.

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...classNum=50547


That sure power relay kinda looks like a starting solenoid from a powersports type vehicle with a "brain box" connected to both the high and low tension sides.
Old     (scottb7)      Join Date: Oct 2012       05-04-2013, 10:12 AM Reply   
I like the simple blue seas switch which is make before break. So I can start boat on either one or two. Switch to both while running to recharge. Switch to either (one only) when parked with music on. And always have the other one as reserve.
Old     (retoxtony)      Join Date: Apr 2012       05-04-2013, 11:51 AM Reply   
I know lots of people, myself included, who use a simple relay for their 2 battery system. I've never had a problem with it and I don't have to worry about forgetting my switch ever. A relay is cheap and works good.
Old     (camassanger)      Join Date: Oct 2009       05-04-2013, 6:09 PM Reply   
What about if you have an onboard charger? Wouldnt it effect this? You'd still have to have a switch to somehow disable the 1314 or whatever when charging in your garage... ideas on how to automate?
Old     (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       05-04-2013, 10:05 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by camassanger View Post
What about if you have an onboard charger? Wouldnt it effect this? You'd still have to have a switch to somehow disable the 1314 or whatever when charging in your garage... ideas on how to automate?
With a switch you just need to wire it so when the switch is turned OFF that it keeps the two batteries off of the vsr. This is the diagram I drew for wiring a blue sea add a battery and keeping the batteries separated with the switch to off so the onboard charger works correctly. I'd assume you could adapt this to another vsr and switch.

Old     (jumpshowhigh)      Join Date: May 2013       05-04-2013, 9:30 PM Reply   
Or you buy a POWER-GATE battery isolator. Sweet product.....have it on my Ski Nautique. Simply splits the alternator current to charge two separate batteries. No diode drop. No heat sink. Been working perfectly for almost 4 years now. Just plain works. Not cheap, but neither is my boat. Just sayin.
Old     (jrw160)      Join Date: Oct 2006       05-05-2013, 7:09 AM Reply   
I just use a perko. I have my amps wired directly to the stereo battery bank, not the perko. It keeps the stereo from draining the starting battery, but still allows me to start the boat with the stereo batteries in the event the starting battery dies. The alternator does not charge the stereo batteries with this setup. I use an onboard charger and plug it in when I get home every night.

I don't see much use for an isolator with my setup. If you don't have access to shore power, I think an isolator setup would be ideal, but I would also want a high output alternator which are typically expensive.

Last edited by jrw160; 05-05-2013 at 7:13 AM.
Old     (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       05-05-2013, 7:48 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrw160 View Post
I just use a perko. I have my amps wired directly to the stereo battery bank, not the perko. It keeps the stereo from draining the starting battery, but still allows me to start the boat with the stereo batteries in the event the starting battery dies. The alternator does not charge the stereo batteries with this setup. I use an onboard charger and plug it in when I get home every night.

I don't see much use for an isolator with my setup. If you don't have access to shore power, I think an isolator setup would be ideal, but I would also want a high output alternator which are typically expensive.
can you draw a diagram of this setup? If you can start your boat from the stereo battery, then the alternator will charge it because in every marine setup I've seen, the positive post on the starter is the common point between the batteries and the alternator. In other words, if your stereo battery can reach your starter, your alternator can reach your stereo battery.

And if you have the perko set to "all" in your case, it doesn't matter where your stereo is connected (the common post on the perko switch or the stereo battery) because your stereo battery and your starting battery are wired in parallel at that point and are effectively one big battery.
Old     (Dmac420sj)      Join Date: Mar 2012       05-05-2013, 7:39 AM Reply   
^^if you have your amps on common on your perko and have your switch set to either bank 1 or 2 it will isolate that set of batteries I.e. not your starting battery. I believe this is right??.
Old     (Dmac420sj)      Join Date: Mar 2012       05-05-2013, 7:51 AM Reply   
Yep I am confused lol
Old     (Dmac420sj)      Join Date: Mar 2012       05-05-2013, 7:55 AM Reply   
I am in the process of doing my stereo with my boat batteries being rewired now and am confused now should I run my amps to battery bank 2 or to the common on the perko. Is there advantages either way?
Old     (jrw160)      Join Date: Oct 2006       05-05-2013, 8:31 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmac420sj View Post
I am in the process of doing my stereo with my boat batteries being rewired now and am confused now should I run my amps to battery bank 2 or to the common on the perko. Is there advantages either way?
It really depends on how you plan to use it. Do you have an onboard charger? Do you spend most of your time listening to the stereo with the boat off or riding? Are your batteries identical or do you have a dedicated stereo bank?
Old     (dxii)      Join Date: Jan 2009       05-05-2013, 8:17 AM Reply   
I did a system last summer that includes a sure power 1314 and a perko switch. I did it that way so I could have the option of manual or automatic operation. I have found, however, that when in "automatic mode," the 1314 hardly ever allows the stereo battery to charge. The stereo battery constantly dies even after a day where the boat is running almost constantly. I'm probably just going to get rid of the 1314 and keep the system manual.
Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       05-05-2013, 11:12 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by dxii View Post
I did a system last summer that includes a sure power 1314 and a perko switch. I did it that way so I could have the option of manual or automatic operation. I have found, however, that when in "automatic mode," the 1314 hardly ever allows the stereo battery to charge. The stereo battery constantly dies even after a day where the boat is running almost constantly. I'm probably just going to get rid of the 1314 and keep the system manual.
John,

Before you condemn the Sure Power ACR, , keep in mind that a typical alternator makes for one poor battery charger. The job of an alternator is to keep up with NORMAL loads and maintain the batteries charge. It will not do well at all to recharge a depleted battery thats drawn down by above normal loads such as multiple amp. Also, the total Ah's will need to be factored in. A 10 gallon bucket takes longer to fill then 5 gallon. Lastly, if the boat is put away at the end of the day with a depleted battery and no shore charger is used, then you start the next trip in the hole with a depleted battery.

I would also confirm proper operation of ACR with a volt meter. If the house battery is heavily depleted, then kinda exceeds the intended use of an ACR anyway. Sometimes its best to manually combine the house bank to the alternator after an extended anchor time playing the stereo.
Old     (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       05-05-2013, 8:20 AM Reply   
I've never had that problem with the blue seas kit, and I'm running a really undersized stereo battery for the size of my stereo (just one group 24 for two arc ks600.2's, a JL xd600/6 and a JL xd600/1). We mostly only rock it hard when someone has the handle in their hand (we don't do the raft up party thing). When I check the batteries after getting back from a day at the lake, the stereo battery, even after being run hard, is rarely lower than 12.5v.
Old     (jrw160)      Join Date: Oct 2006       05-05-2013, 8:26 AM Reply   
If I have my switch set to all, the alternator will charge the stereo batteries and the stereo will drain the starting battery. I just set it to 1 which is where the starting battery is connected. I have the option to set it to all or 2 to start the boat in the event the starting battery dies.

I did the math, and with my factory 60 amp alternator, the stereo will pull as much or more juice than the alternator can put out. We spend as much time anchored listening to music as we do riding. With this scenario an isolator just doesn't provide any benefit in my opinion.
Old     (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       05-05-2013, 8:36 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrw160 View Post
If I have my switch set to all, the alternator will charge the stereo batteries and the stereo will drain the starting battery. I just set it to 1 which is where the starting battery is connected. I have the option to set it to all or 2 to start the boat in the event the starting battery dies.

I did the math, and with my factory 60 amp alternator, the stereo will pull as much or more juice than the alternator can put out. We spend as much time anchored listening to music as we do riding. With this scenario an isolator just doesn't provide any benefit in my opinion.
ah, I get what you are laying down. So the stereo batteries are connected as a failsafe / emergency reserve but as a practical matter your stereo is aways run separately from the boat's charging circuit.
Old     (jrw160)      Join Date: Oct 2006       05-05-2013, 8:42 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawndoggy View Post
ah, I get what you are laying down. So the stereo batteries are connected as a failsafe / emergency reserve but as a practical matter your stereo is aways run separately from the boat's charging circuit.
Exactly
Old     (dxii)      Join Date: Jan 2009       05-05-2013, 12:31 PM Reply   
Good points, Mike. I'm not saying the 1314 doesn't work, just that it doesn't work the way I thought it would when I put the system together. It was poor planning on my part. I don't have access to power on my boat lift, so I was hoping to keep both batteries charged with the alternator while protecting the starting battery if the alternator wasn't able to keep up. As it turns out, I have to take the stereo battery home with me to charge after every day on the water.
Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       05-05-2013, 4:59 PM Reply   
John,
The 1314 will actually combine the batteries at a slightly higher voltage threshold than most other voltage sensing relays/solenoids, so that is to your advantage.
If the 1314 wouldn't combine when needed then no other model is likely to do better. An ACR/VSR will not combine when a) the alternator is not strong enough to elevate the voltage on the sensing side, b) when the depleted battery capacity is too great along with the stereo and boat operations draw, c) poor beginning voltage at the top of the day because an AC shore charger was not used....and an ACR/VSR can and will increase your dependency on AC shore charging, or d) a combination of all.
Btw, a 1314 and a standard dual battery Perko switch is a very odd pairing unlike a Sure Power 1314 with a Blue Sea 5511e dual circuit switch. Any Perko wiring scheme that would make sense with a ACR/VSR would be contrary to the nomenclature used on the face of the Perko and therefore would be very confusing to use.
So there are a number of concerns as to how you put the 1314 to task.

David
Earmark Marine
Old     (Pad1Tai)      Join Date: Jan 2013       05-08-2013, 2:52 PM Reply   
These work great...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/230977435179...84.m1555.l2649

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