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Old    Derek (camassanger)      Join Date: Oct 2009       08-09-2012, 2:35 PM Reply   
OK guys, I've been reading most of the day here on WW about how to do a 2 battery bank system and automate the charging from either the alternator and/or an AC shore charger.

Here is my system:
Battery 1 used for stereo only (3 amplifiers: JL 600.4, PDX600.1 and Phoenix Gold for interiors) - Deka SeaMate G24 (14 months old)
Battery 2 is the boat starter battery - Deka SeaMate G24 (14 months old)
Sure Power Isolator 9523A
ProMariner ProSport 8 - 2 bank shore charger. Independently charges/floats each battery

Here's my problem:
My PerfectPass started acting up a while back, then last time out, the boat starter battery wouldn't start the boat. I left my AC charger disconnected for 24 hours before this last trip out. I'm wondering if A) the batteries are somehow now bad or 2) the isolator (voltage drop) is the problem.

After reading on WW all morning, I believe I need to eliminate the isolator and switch it out with a Sure Power 1314 (or a Blue Sea ACR?). However, when I do that, I will also need some sort of disconnect so that when I plug in the ProMariner it is able to charge both batteries independently. So how to do that AUTOMATICALLY? I know I can use a perko or cheapo battery disconnect switch, but I want this automated so that when the boat is running (on) the combiner is doing what its supposed to. And when the boat is off, the batts are separated and the shore charger can do it's thing. What is the easiest way to do this? I am thinking I could run a solenoid (old Ford style) that closes the circuit when the boat is on, then opens when the boat is off. But, wondering if there is a better way...

Any advice here would be greatly appreciated (I hate having issues like this in August!)
Old     (pprior)      Join Date: Jan 2012       08-09-2012, 3:19 PM Reply   
Surepower 1314 combined with a simple perko switch will do exactly what you want, that's what I have on my boat, both batteries are charged by alternator when running (with priority to the starter battery) but are charged independantly by the onboard charger when hooked to AC
Old    Derek (camassanger)      Join Date: Oct 2009       08-09-2012, 3:21 PM Reply   
But you have to remember to manually switch the Perko. I am trying to figure out how to do this automatically. IE a solenoid that does the same thing as the Perko... (but there may be a better way).
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       08-09-2012, 3:34 PM Reply   
I can't speak to other setups, but a blue sea add a battery wired like this will combine while running but will keep the batteries absolutely separated when the boat is off and the battery switch is set to off:

Old    Derek (camassanger)      Join Date: Oct 2009       08-09-2012, 6:05 PM Reply   
Shawndoggy, Here again though, you have to turn a switch, right? There has got to be a way to automate this...

Last edited by camassanger; 08-09-2012 at 6:10 PM. Reason: added some stuff
Old    TigeMike (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       08-09-2012, 6:12 PM Reply   
When using an ACR/VSR and shore-charger, the Blue Sea Dual-Circuit Plus switch is the best. if you have a typical multi-battery switch, then disabling the ACR's ground circuit during shore charging will prevent the ACR from closing and thus allowing the charger to condition both banks independently.

Im not familiar with the SP 9523, so I can speak to how it works in your setup or if its your root problem. I have used the SP 1314 and BS 7610 a number of times. Both work great..

What battery switch do you have?

Your Prosport-8 may not be enough to recharge/recondition 3 batteries properly.
Old    TigeMike (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       08-09-2012, 6:19 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by camassanger View Post
Shawndoggy, Here again though, you have to turn a switch, right? There has got to be a way to automate this...
You can run an ACR without a switch if you want. The switch is there to allow you to disconnect the loads from the batteries when the boat is stored. Switch is not actually needed to make the ACR work.

I used a deep-cycle battery and a continuous-duty solenoid in a work van for 3 years. Deep-cycle was charged through the CDS while driving, but all my tools, laptop, printer and lights pulled off the deep-cycle only while on a job site.
Old    Derek (camassanger)      Join Date: Oct 2009       08-09-2012, 6:21 PM Reply   
I dont' have a switch currently. The SP 9523 is a diode system (1V drop), and keeps the batteries completely separated (like a check valve, one way flow only). Charging is allocated to each battery separately by the isolator based on need (current charge state). This would be perfect if not for the 1V drop IMO.

I only have 2 batteries. One for the stereo and one starter. And I don't have a switch, because it isn't needed with the isolator. But clearly if I go with the SP1314 or the ACR/VSR I will need a switch of some kind to break the circuit to one of the batteries for the shore charger (so they will be charged and maintained separately). This is actually the only problem I think I need to solve (relay or solenoid or ?) - I want the shore charging to be automated. I don't want to have to remember to flip a switch each time I get into and out of the boat before I plug in the shore charger.

Good point on the ProSport 8. It was cheapest, and I have time to recharge between boat outings. I think it is working OK. I do check the voltage on the batteries from time to time (I'm one of those guys who keeps a voltmeter in the boat lol).
Old    Derek (camassanger)      Join Date: Oct 2009       08-09-2012, 6:25 PM Reply   
TigeMike, But without the switch, the ACR would detect charging current on a battery and close the switch tying in the other battery. This would disable independent charging/floating from the shore charger. Wouldn't it?

The other problem I can see, is that if you have one battery very low (stereo batt IE), and the starter battery fully charged, the ACR would close the switch and allow the starter battery to quickly (violently?) dump into the little charged stereo battery.

I hope I'm thinking of this right...
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       08-09-2012, 6:45 PM Reply   
There is a way to automatically break the circuit with a solenoid but it gets more complicated than just using the boat's key. In that case, you would be just as effective using a keyed solenoid to replace the function of a voltage sensing solenoid. I don't see a problem with using a manual switch to supplement the voltage sensing solenoid since you will only use the switch when you place the boat on the trailer and remove it from the trailer.
The voltage drop from the diode based combiner isn't helping your challenge.
A Perfect Pass is definitely voltage sensitive.
You probably don't have enough battery capacity for the stereo size and duration of play at rest. You don't want to cycle your stereo battery below 12 volts with any repetition.
And once you increase the battery capacity the 8 amp AC charger will be light since a voltage sensing solenoid can increase your dependency on shore charging.
Use a multimeter to take measurements at various points. This will give you a more objective basis to build your system and take the guess work out.
If the P.G. amplifier is Class AB you might want to replace it with a Class D.

David
Earmark Marine
Old    TigeMike (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       08-09-2012, 6:45 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by camassanger View Post
I dont' have a switch currently. The SP 9523 is a diode system (1V drop), and keeps the batteries completely separated (like a check valve, one way flow only). Charging is allocated to each battery separately by the isolator based on need (current charge state). This would be perfect if not for the 1V drop IMO.

I only have 2 batteries. One for the stereo and one starter. And I don't have a switch, because it isn't needed with the isolator. But clearly if I go with the SP1314 or the ACR/VSR I will need a switch of some kind to break the circuit to one of the batteries for the shore charger (so they will be charged and maintained separately). This is actually the only problem I think I need to solve (relay or solenoid or ?) - I want the shore charging to be automated. I don't want to have to remember to flip a switch each time I get into and out of the boat before I plug in the shore charger.

Good point on the ProSport 8. It was cheapest, and I have time to recharge between boat outings. I think it is working OK. I do check the voltage on the batteries from time to time (I'm one of those guys who keeps a voltmeter in the boat lol).
In most cases, a .07-1.0 voltage drop across a typical diode ISO is not a problem. Reason being is that the alternator and most chargers will actually put out a voltage level thats high enough to exceed the static voltage level of a fully charged battery. The voltage drop just means is takes longer. To begin to diagnose your problem, you would need to see the static voltage level of each battery, as well as confirm that the alternator charge is reaching each battery.

After rereading, I see its two batteries and 3 amps, my bad. But, if your stereo battery is getting pulled real low, the Prosport-8 may not have enough amperage o get is back up to a proper level. But there again, knowing what the actual voltage level is may be key.

With a diode type ISO, you can recharge both banks and the stay isolated. This can be done with an ACR, you just have to disable the ACR so it doesnt combine.
Old    Derek (camassanger)      Join Date: Oct 2009       08-09-2012, 6:59 PM Reply   
My problem isnt with the stereo battery, it's with the starter battery (and PerfectPass). I "think" the starter battery isnt getting charged back up well enough. The voltage eventually drops and then perfectpass begins to shut off/on and beep... And then the boat starts dying everytime I drop it to neutral. Checking the starter battery while on the water, it reads low.

The stereo and everything on that bank works fine - no problems.

Maybe the starter battery is faulty? I have checked the static charge of the batteries, and they are holding at 12.8 (I disconnected the on board charger earlier today).

I used to think the 1V drop was OK, but now Im wondering.
Old    Derek (camassanger)      Join Date: Oct 2009       08-09-2012, 7:05 PM Reply   
Thanks David. I'm actually not having any issues with the stereo bank at all. We actually dont use it much when the boat is off.

But, you are right on with perfectpass - its a sensitive booger. I can tell my starter battery is struggling when PP starts cutting out. It also happens when I switch on the heater (large draw).

I am thinking of a continuous duty solenoid placed between the ACR, or SP1314 and the Aux battery positive leg, wired to the key "on" position. When key is "on" solenoid actuates and closes the circuit for the ACR. This would enable the ACR to function perfectly while the boat is running (on). Then when the key is switched off, the solenoid opens the circuit enabling the use of the on board charger. Would this work? A relay would also work, right? I just need a product recommendation, I think.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       08-09-2012, 8:56 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by camassanger View Post
Shawndoggy, Here again though, you have to turn a switch, right? There has got to be a way to automate this...
dude wtf, that's why there's a switch?!

Do you turn the key off at the end of the day?

You only need to turn the switch when you shut down the boat for the day. Just like you turn off the key.

but if you are really THAT LAZY, yes, there is a $5 "automatic" workaround to this "problem." The ground wire on the voltage sensing relay needs to be switched with a relay. When the relay is energized, the ground circuit will close and the voltage sensing relay will work. When the relay is not energized, the ground circuit will open and the voltage sensing relay will be disengaged with no possibility of combining the batteries. If you use ignition power to close the relay, then you'll automatically set the system up so that the voltage sensing relay will only work when the boat key is turned on.

Pin 30: to ACR ground
Pin 86: to IGN power (power comes on when keyed up)
Pin 85: to BATTERY ground
Pin 87: to BATTERY ground






but again, THAT IS REALLY LAZY!

Last edited by shawndoggy; 08-09-2012 at 9:02 PM.
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       08-09-2012, 9:22 PM Reply   
Derik got your message. Your system is pretty easy and small so a heavy duty continuous solenoid will do the trick.
Works like this. When your key is in the on position both of your battery's would be linked together. When the key is off it separates your battery's .so when your parked and your listening to your stereo with your key off your starting battery is out of the loop, when you hit the key and start up both battery's are linked. This is a simple way to do it . When you plug into shore power your battery charger can bring each battery up on its own. ACR works much the Same way but I found that if your starting battery never reaches the set point ( many times over 13 volts) it nevers switches over to the stereo battery and that battery gets beat down the solenoid way is quick easy way to get her done
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       08-09-2012, 9:30 PM Reply   
And if all you want is the solenoid, send me $7 for shipping and I'll send you one that's gathering dust in my garage.
Old    Derek (camassanger)      Join Date: Oct 2009       08-09-2012, 10:00 PM Reply   
Thanks guys, that's what I thought. I know it doesnt sound like a big deal, and maybe it is lazy. But the real reason I want it automatic is because I am afraid I'll forget to flip the switch. If it's automated, I won't have to remember and it's all covered.

Thanks again for the inputs, it's greatly appreciated!

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