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Old    Tom Southern (Showmethebutter)      Join Date: Mar 2010       03-21-2010, 8:22 AM Reply   
I need some help!

I Have the following audio gear that i need some help setting up.

Fusion IP500 Headunit
Kicker KX850 Amp (4 channel)
Fusion Fe402 amp (170 rms)

2 wetsounds XS650 for the cockpit
2 Kicker KMT6 for the tower
12" Fusion Sub

I have installed it all and wired it up properly.
I have 4awg power and ground cables going to each amp via a fused distribution block.

At the moment I only have a single battery and a 65amp alternator. I know that the alternator will get trashed if i run the system for any legnth of time at high volume as it simply cant put out enough power. I dont play the stereo when im not boarding or cruising. I board on the sea so safety and reliability from the battery and alternater is very important.

My question is this-

I know i am going to have to install a dual battery setup but what can i do to prevent overloading the alternater and trashing it?
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       03-21-2010, 11:17 AM Reply   
Tom,

Use a SurePower 1314 combiner/separator (uni-direction version only) on a dual-battery set-up. This will serve to protect and preserve your alternator from an inordinate load when and if the voltage would begin to drop off due to the stereo battery depletion.

Get very dependent on an AC shore charger to restore and maintain your dual batteries. You want a dual-bank multi-stage smart charger with a capacity of 10 to 15 percent of your total battery(s) amp/hour rating(s).

Supplement the SurePower with two Perko simple on/off switches so that you have three distinctive models, ie: Automotive operation, emergency bypass and fixed isolation for AC shore charging.

Keep the helm buss, alternator and starter on the starting battery. Shift 100 percent of the stereo components and nothing else over to the dedicated stereo battery.

This system is comprehensive and superior to all other ACR/VSR options. This system is intended for heavy stereos specifically rather than addressing the draw of light instrumentation on a fishing or fish & ski boat.

David
Earmark Marine
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       03-21-2010, 11:42 AM Reply   
*Automatic operation (not Automotive)
Old    Steve (skongolf)      Join Date: Aug 2009       03-21-2010, 11:52 AM Reply   
Dave, How would you wire the 2 simple perkos and the sure power?
Old    Tom Southern (Showmethebutter)      Join Date: Mar 2010       03-21-2010, 12:02 PM Reply   
Thanks David.

How does the surepower protect the alternator from the huge demand from the stereo?

I work out that my stereo needs roughly 60amps to play at volume. The engine itself mst need 20amps for ignition, fuel pump, power steering pump. That's 15 amps more than the alt can supply.

Would using a battery not connected to the alt that is charged on shore be a viable option?

Thanks for your help.
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       03-21-2010, 4:11 PM Reply   
Tom,

If your total demand exceeds the alternator then the voltage will begin to drop as you deplete the stereo battery. If the overall voltage drop affects the starting or sensing side then the stereo battery and the stereo will be automatically isolated from your starting battery and alternator. This preserves your starting battery. It also protects your alternator from an inordinate load comprised of a 60 amp stereo plus as much as 25 amps of draw by a depleted stereo battery. Once disconnected your stereo might eventually shut off due to low voltage and the SurePower may never re-combine. And that is where your dependency on shore AC charger restoration comes in. But in the process you'll never get stranded and your alternator won't get as hot as an exhaust manifold. Since music is transient in nature it may never come to this. But if it does there's no questioning where your priorities should fall between continued stereo play or potential alternator failure (at minimum serious wear and tear).

On another note, this is where engineering efficiency into every phase of your system design really pays dividends. A bass-reflex enclosure might save 3 dB in equivalent amplifier power and Class D amplifiers might save 30 percent of your current draw. This extends to source unit selection, installation techniques, system tuning procedures, wire & cable, speaker selection, connectors, and more that impact your total system efficiency. And as a byproduct you'll find the more efficient systems actually sound better too.

David
Earmark Marine
Old    Jon Hunter (hunter660)      Join Date: Aug 2007       03-21-2010, 6:20 PM Reply   
Just to make sure I understand correctly: If the battery voltage drops below a certain point, the SurePower disconnects the batteries and the alternator will only charge the starting battery. The accessory battery then just runs until it is drained? Is there anything I should install to cut off the battery before it is damaged or will the amps cut off well before this point?
Old    Matt Foell (vr6mole)      Join Date: Feb 2009       03-22-2010, 4:56 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by hunter660 View Post
Just to make sure I understand correctly: If the battery voltage drops below a certain point, the SurePower disconnects the batteries and the alternator will only charge the starting battery. The accessory battery then just runs until it is drained? Is there anything I should install to cut off the battery before it is damaged or will the amps cut off well before this point?
Jon-

the Shurepower will bridge the connections as long as the starting battery is ~13.2 volts or higher. Youll want to wire that as the "main" battery.

Your "aux" battery will be your stereo battery.

If your stereo battery starts to drain and causes the main battery to drop below 13.2 volts then the shurepower will break the connection between the two batteries.

In most causes when the rider falls or you turn the stereo down then the shurepower will be able to link the batteries again since the draw on the stereo battery has decreased.

On the other hand, if your sitting and listening to music with the motor off then the shurepower will break the connection so only your stereo is pulling from the stereo battery. Once the boat stars the voltage will be over 13.2 on the starting battery and it will link the batteries again so it can begin to charge the stereo battery.

Last edited by vr6mole; 03-22-2010 at 4:59 AM.
Old    Nic (_vitty_)      Join Date: Jul 2009       03-22-2010, 5:39 AM Reply   
I am in a similar position to the original poster, but do not have access to any AC power down at my dock. Trailering the boat in and out of the water after use is not an option for me either.

I like the SurePower option as I will most definitely use one of these and get rid of the isolator that came with my boat. I was planning on having 2 batteries for the stereo and 1 starter battery. For the parallel stereo batteries they will be putting out a combined 180 amps. I'm assuming I would need the SurePower 1314-200 which is a 200 amp model. Is this correct? What if my parallel accessory batteries exceed 200 amps?

As far as the onboard charger goes, that is not an option for me. What would another suggestion be to make the system as robust as possible with no access to an AC power source?
Thanks!
Old    Matt Foell (vr6mole)      Join Date: Feb 2009       03-22-2010, 6:58 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by _vitty_ View Post
I am in a similar position to the original poster, but do not have access to any AC power down at my dock. Trailering the boat in and out of the water after use is not an option for me either.

I like the SurePower option as I will most definitely use one of these and get rid of the isolator that came with my boat. I was planning on having 2 batteries for the stereo and 1 starter battery. For the parallel stereo batteries they will be putting out a combined 180 amps. I'm assuming I would need the SurePower 1314-200 which is a 200 amp model. Is this correct? What if my parallel accessory batteries exceed 200 amps?

As far as the onboard charger goes, that is not an option for me. What would another suggestion be to make the system as robust as possible with no access to an AC power source?
Thanks!
I think that surepower will be fine as long as your alternator does not put out more then 200 amps.

I spend alot of time going through a no-wake zone to and from my marina. I feel this is more then enough time for my stereo battery to get somewhat of a recharge. Also need to consider how often are you REALLY cranking the volume of your speakers. For us its just when we are pulling a rider.

No issues last year with that process.
Old    Adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       03-22-2010, 7:45 AM Reply   
IMO, you are extremly over engineering this. The system is not that big. Get the surepower, and upgrade your alt to a 90-110 amp alt ( still very cheap) . Take your old one to a reputable shop and have them rebuild ( make sure they know its' going in a boat) your looking at less than $100.

Much easier/cheaper this way.
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       03-22-2010, 9:53 AM Reply   
All that Matt said above is accurate. However, there are variables that must be applied. The SurePower has a built in delay that keeps it from making short term intervals or chattering. It will combine only if the alternator has the capacity to run the stereo, run the boat and lift the voltage on the starting battery simultaneously. If the stereo draw is too large, raising the voltage above the combining threshold may not happen. Sometimes you just have to back off the stereo if you want to get a charge with or without an ACR/VSR.

Your stereo batteries should only be deep cycle which are intended to be drained. Technically, a shallow discharge does promote longevity.

If your stereo is large and your alternator is small and you're not using an AC shore charger then sometimes I recommend that you avoid an ACR/VSR. If you need more than two total batteries then you can use a manual cascading scheme where you bring one stereo battery back on-line at a time and only after the voltage on the preceeding battery has been elevated. This protects smaller alternateors. Remember that a number of batteries do not represent a load when charged but represent a major load combined with the stereo when discharged.

In any case, not having an AC shore charger will create a progressive reduction in your battery's reserve time and will increase battery turnover.

We also use cascading ACR/VSR schemes when four stereo batteries are in use. Otherwise a single ACR/VSR would instantly bounce open as four drained batteries immediately pull down the voltage of the combined alternator output and starting battery.

Each system has unique parameters so there is no single prescripton that fits every system.

Alternators don't generate alot of output at low RPMs.

David
Earmark Marine
Old    Steve (skongolf)      Join Date: Aug 2009       03-22-2010, 10:28 AM Reply   
I am still curious why 2 battery switches were recommended above and how you would wire those with the sure power. I am in the complete same situation so I was just planning on using the sure power 1314, but the recommendation of 2 small selector switches has thrown me. Any input?
Old    Nic (_vitty_)      Join Date: Jul 2009       03-22-2010, 10:52 AM Reply   
David, is there a way to get a hold of you directly? I have some questions that I need you assistance with.
Thanks
Old    Jon Hunter (hunter660)      Join Date: Aug 2007       03-23-2010, 7:32 AM Reply   
Anyone here on the board sell the sure power? I'd just assume by from them.
Old    Adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       03-23-2010, 8:39 AM Reply   
Quote:
Anyone here on the board sell the sure power? I'd just assume by from them.
Brett Yates.
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       03-23-2010, 9:14 AM Reply   
Go to EarmarkMarine.com for contact information. I'll try to help as time permits.

Also, we support the SurePower product and all of its applications.

David
Earmark Marine
Old    Brett Yates (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       03-23-2010, 9:58 AM Reply   
I do but check with David as well. He helped with a lot of good info in this thread.
Old    Mike B (mlb75)      Join Date: Aug 2007       03-25-2010, 12:26 PM Reply   
Since we're on the subject what's the current consensus as far as batteries goes. I've got to replace at least one of mine so I want to make sure I'm getting the right thing.

My system is ~4k watts and it gets used as much or more at the coves playing LOUD as it does while riding. When I got the boat (MB Tomcat) it had an Optima Blue Top and a standard marine deep cycle installed via a Perko. I chose the Optima as the starting battery and tied all the amps directly off the other. That worked for a little bit but I quickly found the marine battery couldn't keep up. I replaced it with a Kinetic 1800 and was thrilled with it right up until the end of the season when after a weekend much heavier on the partying than riding that the kinetic was pretty much dead and now has fully kicked the bucket despite being on a float charger during the off season. I guess it just couldn't take being drained like that.

So... Do I get another Kinetic (maybe 2 1800's so they never get drawn down as much), are golf cart batteries the way to go (just concerned with them being able to output the amperage), or is there another front runner I need to check out?
Old    Murphy Smith (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       03-25-2010, 12:55 PM Reply   
IMO...Kinetik batteries suck. For the money, there are much better options. Deka Sea Mate's are the most amp hours for the dollar in a sealed battery. You could look at the Lifeline AGM's but they are pricey. Golf carts are the best bang for a wet battery but do require some extra maint and mounting precautions

If you repeatedly killed your Kinetik battery and then used a float charger to bring it back up to "fullcharge" therein lies the problem.

You need to invest in a battery charger that offers multi stage charging. When a battery is low, it needs to be hit with a bulk rate of somehere b/t 13.6 and 13.8 amps. Once the charger senses the battery has taken enough of the Bulk rate, then it goes to an absorption rate which is a little less amperage. Once the battery is full, the float is used to keep the battery maintained. This is an automatic process that a good battery charger goes through

The fact the you tried to maintain a battery that was dead, is probably what killed your kinetik battery. It needed a more a amperage than what a float charger offers

Dual Pro, Pro Mariner, Guest, Xantrex are a few of the compaines that make multi-stage chargers.

Your charging routine will dictate how much life you get out of you batteries.
Old    Murphy Smith (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       03-25-2010, 12:59 PM Reply   
Read this and you will understand why your Kinetik's did not charge back up.

I have a Dual Pro 2 bank charger that is 3 stage. My 4 optimas still hold their voltage when they get their annual load at Sears Automotive and the batteries are starting their fourth season.



Mode 1 - Bulk Mode: The charger is in a current-limit state and delivers its maximum rated current to the battery. Because the charger can deliver only its maximum rated current to the battery, the voltage at the charger's output terminals is clamped by the discharged battery to some level determined by the battery (usually between 12V and 14.7V). It is in this mode that the battery receives most of its recharge. While the battery is being recharged, its terminal voltage slowly rises. When the battery voltage rises to approximately 14.7V (for a 12V system), the battery is at a 75% to 90% recharged level and the charger switches to absorption mode.

Mode 2 - Absorption Mode: The charger is in a constant-voltage state delivering approximately 14.7V to the battery. The battery draws less and less current from the charger as the battery reaches 100% recharged. When the charger calculates that the battery is 100% recharged, the charger switches to float mode.

Mode 3 - Float Mode: The charger is in constant-voltage state at a lower voltage than in absorption mode (approx. 13.8V for a 12V system). This allows the battery to draw just enough current to make up for its internal leakage current. When the charger is in this mode, the battery may remain connected to the charger for all of the battery's service life with no damage to the battery.

Last edited by murphy_smith; 03-25-2010 at 1:02 PM. Reason: shortened response
Old    Chad Seymour (chad52)      Join Date: Apr 2002       03-25-2010, 4:51 PM Reply   
What is the difference between a Hellroaring isolator and the Surepower isolator? Are these just two brands of the same thing?

If I run a 3 battery system, with an isolated starting battery and another two battery bank wired in parallel for my stereo equipment, how does a charger, like a Ctek, fit into the sytem and charge and condition all 3 batteries?

And lastly, are most of you running your LED lights off of the same battery bank as the stereo?

Thanks,

Chad
Old    Mike B (mlb75)      Join Date: Aug 2007       03-26-2010, 10:25 AM Reply   
Thanks for the input. As for my charging habit's I didn't really go into enough detail on that I guess. I did regularly place a bulk charger on them both especially if we cranked the volume a lot. To the best of my knowledge the battery was only brought down to parade rest once and after that weekend I had it on the full size charger for over 24 hours (if I recall the charger I use starts at like 15-20 amps and automatically goes down from there as needed, and it's in an AGM mode) The float charger was only placed on the boat for the winter when I didn't even look at the thing for 3 months. When I put the boat up for the year I assumed the battery was still OK since the stereo still played etc I just had it in the back of my mind it was not doing as well as it did at the beginning of the year.

As to them being overpriced, sure I guess, but they seem to be pretty much in line with the others I've seen that have similar stats ie the Deka. The biggest difference I see between the Deka and the Kinetic is that the Deka is designed as a deep cycle as well as having the reserve capacity. I'm looking now for the best place to get the Deka.

Next stop alternator upgrade...

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