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Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       02-28-2013, 11:30 AM Reply   
Boat: '01 Malibu Sunsetter VLX.

I am do a partial re-wire on the boat along with stereo/battery upgrades. As part of this I will be relocating the battery. Currently I have a cheapie group 29 in a battery box in the back of the port locker (not ideal). Here are my electrical needs:

Stereo: Polk D4000.4, powering my 4 Exile SXT65 towers 125x4 @ 4ohm. Polk D5000.5, powering 4 Polk MM651 in-boats (2.7 ohm, around 90x4 watts RMS) + Polk MM1240DVC (400x1 @ 2ohm).

Ballast: Three Johnson reversible pumps.

Remainder of electrical: running a heater, LS1 motor, some LED's, not much else. 55amp alternator, freshly rebuilt last season.

I want to do dual batteries + charger + Perko. I plan to install the batteries under the observer seat as we don't utilize that storage area very well. Basic dimensions are 15" wide x 29" long x 8.5" high. Those numbers can be fudged a bit depending on how the batteries are placed, but height is a fixed number.

Plan was to just run one battery at a time, leaving the other as a back-up (and switching batteries per outing to keep the wear even). We don't pound the stereo for long periods of time with the boat off (and most of the time have it at normal levels regardless) so having a dedicated house battery seems a bit unnecessary. The current Group 29 has been more than enough currently, though that's with only the D4000.4 ran 4 channel 2ohm and a self powered sub. We trailer the boat all season except for 1 week when at a lake house where it stays in the water (no shore power).

Questions:
- Battery choice? I thought these were a good deal (Deka Group 34M AGM's) and would fit perfectly side-by-side still leaving 2/3 of the observer storage area open: http://www.remybattery.com/deka-inti...m-battery.aspx

- There are a zillion Perko switches to choose from. Which makes the most sense?

- What on-board charger should I go with? I hear good things about ProMarine chargers...they suggested the ProNautic P 1220 but that seems a bit pricey. The ProSport 20 Gen 2 seemed like a good match.

- What gauge wire should I run from each battery to the Perko (which I assume would be the same as the ground wire to the ground distro block? What gauge power wire from the Perko to the alternator (which again should be the same as the ground from the block to the engine ground)? What gauge wire from the driver's helm to the Perko/ground block? It has 50 amp service and looked like 4awg from a quick glance currently.

- How should I secure the batteries? Battery boxes are obviously not going to fit. I planned to use battery box cleats to keep them in one spot but what about tying them down? http://bakesonline.com/detail.aspx?ID=1337

- What power/ground distribution block should I use?
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       02-28-2013, 12:37 PM Reply   
2/0 power and ground. Ground to block, Power in new boats comes from the starter.

I'm a fan of the blue sea add a battery, but I don't think that plays nice with agm batteries and their higher resting charge.

Having owned both blue sea and perko battery switches, I prefer the look and feel of the blue sea.

I would run the ground from the block right to one battery, then daisy chain the ground to battery 2. No need for a distro block for "house" (and by house I mean non-stereo) loads. The power from the starter or alternator goes right to the common post on the switch. If the switch is in close proximity to the batteries, I'd do 2awg (but surely you could get away with 4 with only a 55 amp alternator).

Can you just pull the existing run to the helm over to your switch? It would also go to the common post. So you have three wires on the common switch: alternator, helm, stereo + distro.

For the stereo, on the + side you'd want a run to the common post (2awg) to a distro block (fused), and on the - side you'd want a run from one of the two batteries to a distro block.

I really like this distro block because it's all in one (wish I would've done in my boat):



http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...TPFDB-4PG.html
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       02-28-2013, 3:33 PM Reply   
The only reason I was planning on doing a ground distro block was to clean things up. Tying the two battery grounds together obviously (as that's cleanest), then one run to a ground distro block. From there I can have a ground point for each amp and the driver helm.

Do you think the 4awg is enough for the driver helm? Is 2/0 really necessary from the start or will 1/0 suffice? I ask because that is WAY bigger than what is currently there. Depending on what table I find online, they vary greatly on what AWG requirements there are for a given amp draw and footage.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       02-28-2013, 4:07 PM Reply   
You can find my saga over on TMC with my 06 vride about the weird stuff my boat started doing on 2awg from motor to batteries. The new boats all use 2/0, and upgrading my wiring solved my voltage related problems. Basically the ecm is very very voltage sensitive, and when the starter would pull on my batteries on 2 awg, the ecm would see low voltage and wouldn't engage the ignition circuit. So the boat would crank but not always fire.

Do you NEED to? Dunno. I do know that's how they doing now. I might have gotten away with 1/0 (what I actually did was leave my existing 2awg run and put in a second 2awg power and ground run in parallel).

As for the helm, I'd use whatever you have now. Reason being that it works, and the run from helm to observer's compartment is going to be shorter (or at least no longer) than your current run. Your batteries on the other hand will be farther from the starter and ecm, which is why I'd upgrade the wire.

I see what you mean with the ground block. I still think that one in the pic would work, because you'll only have two amps and the helm, right? You'd still even have one open slot? I would definitely stick the home run from the block to the batteries straight to one of the battery negative posts and not to the ground block.

The only other thing to keep in mind... are you going to use tinned wire for the power and helm runs? If so it's not nearly as flexible or easy to work with as nice stereo power wire, so that may be one reason not to try to get it in the distro block. If you are just going to use nice stereo wire to do all of this, the ground block would be a piece of cake (just don't tell the NMMA that your weekend garage queen doesn't have wire fit for a transatlantic voyage).
Old     (Thrall)      Join Date: Oct 2010       02-28-2013, 4:36 PM Reply   
I too think 2/0 is overkill. My 06 MC uses 2ga for battery connections. I used 1/0 for the long runs and battery connections even though those runs were short.
When I re-did the stereo and battery situation in my boat, the goal was for it to be plug and play, no switches or anything.
I upgraded to 2 batteries. Start battery #1 runs all the engine, helm and ballast functions. House battery #2 runs the stereo (3 amps, total about 2300W) I used 2 separate sets of dist blocks similar to the one pictured for car stereos. Batteries only have 1 main cable to each post that powers or grounds each dist block.
Stereo dist bock is fused with appropriate sized fuses for each amp.
Separate dedicated ground wire, 1/0, from each neg dist block to engine.
Battery #1 takes it's charge from the alternator through the main + wire coming from the starter (factory setup). Linked it to battery#2 with a Blue Seas ACR combiner. Links the batteries together to both charge of the alternator when the engine is running. Batteries are not connected to each other except through the ACR nor do they power ANY of the same loads.
I hooked up a charger/maintainer to one battery and the ACR links both for on shore charging/battery maint. I've been told this isnt the best setup as I have 1 charging source charging 2 batteries that are potentially at 2 different stages of discharge, but have had no issues with it overcharging a battery. Not saying that's the best way to go, a dual bank charger maintainer would be ideal but more $.

If I drain the house battery then no stereo, everything else works. If for some reason the start battery crapped out I could physically connect the house battery to get the boat started.

What I accomplished was:
1. Cleaned up MC's crappy factory wiring to the battery (it's bad). Better connections, fuses, etc. Basically how it "should" have come from the factory on a $60k stereo machine!
2. Dedicated powersupply to the stereo and separate dedicated power to all the normal boat functions. Neither is dependent on the other and neither can draw from each other.
3. No touch charging of both batteries while boat is running or on the maintainer, other than plugging in the maintainer of course.
4. Much better grounding for the entire boat. When I bought it, an essentially brand new boat, only 40hrs on it, had electrical issues, stereo noise, etc. Just re-wiring the connections properly with proper grounding eliminated all issues.

Cost not including the batteries themselves or any of the new stereo gear was right about $500 for all the large guage wire, dist blocks, 4ga wire to all the amps and a buncha new speaker wire. If I'd have shopped around for bargains and not needed to re-wire for tower speakers and sub, bet I could have done it for around $300 no problem.
Old     (Thrall)      Join Date: Oct 2010       02-28-2013, 4:40 PM Reply   
this website www.bcae1.com will help you with wiring needs, sizing wire, etc.

Whatever you do, have ALL your stereo stuff, head unit, amps on the same source + and ground -. And do not piggy back the grounds for 2 batteries into 1 ground wire back to the engine block (unless it's double the size of both battery wires, 4/0???
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       02-28-2013, 5:11 PM Reply   
Quote:
Linked it to battery#2 with a Blue Seas ACR combiner. Links the batteries together to both charge of the alternator when the engine is running. Batteries are not connected to each other except through the ACR nor do they power ANY of the same loads.
That's not entirely accurate. When the acr closes, the batteries are joined and it's one big circuit from alternator to battery 1 to acr to battery 2. Electrons don't care which cable is hooked to which battery. Until the ACR opens, your two batteries are one big battery.

But I'm a big fan of the add a battery too.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       02-28-2013, 5:14 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrall View Post
this website www.bcae1.com will help you with wiring needs, sizing wire, etc.

Whatever you do, have ALL your stereo stuff, head unit, amps on the same source + and ground -. And do not piggy back the grounds for 2 batteries into 1 ground wire back to the engine block (unless it's double the size of both battery wires, 4/0???
2/0 is plenty for two batteries. One ground wire to the block is just fine, with batteries daisy chained off of one another. The batteries can't tell how they are connected.
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       02-28-2013, 5:32 PM Reply   
Quote:
Linked it to battery#2 with a Blue Seas ACR combiner. Links the batteries together to both charge of the alternator when the engine is running. Batteries are not connected to each other except through the ACR nor do they power ANY of the same loads.

That's not entirely accurate. When the acr closes, the batteries are joined and it's one big circuit from alternator to battery 1 to acr to battery 2. Electrons don't care which cable is hooked to which battery. Until the ACR opens, your two batteries are one big battery.

^^^^^
I agree that the first statement is not entirely accurate. Depending on the stereo load combined with a depleted battery load, an ACR may not even combine when the boat is running. Under certain conditions the voltage will sag below the combine threshold and the ACR will bounce back open and stay open. You can have a system and usage that exceeds the normal or intended use of an ACR. You could instead use an ignition-driven combining solenoid. But that wouldn't protect your alternator like an ACR (voltage sensing relay) will. An ACR can increase your dependency on AC shore charging. Having written this and fully understanding ACR behaviors, I am also a fan of an ACR. Whether a SurePower solenoid or Blue Sea relay, I like it combined with the Blue Sea dual circuit switch (very different from a conventional dual battery switch).

David
Earmark Marine
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       03-01-2013, 1:08 PM Reply   
I hadn't done any research about the ACR until it was mentioned here...looks like a pretty neat product. I'm liking the selection of products Blue Sea is offering, so I've been mostly looking at their stuff right now.

In regards to the ACR, I have a minor wiring question. The diagrams all show the house stuff on one side, and the other side being a starter battery. In my case, I assume I'd want all the house stuff on the starter battery side and the stereo stuff alone on the other side.
Old    TigeMike (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       03-01-2013, 8:22 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawndoggy View Post
.

. If the switch is in close proximity to the batteries, I'd do 2awg (but surely you could get away with 4 with only a 55 amp alternator).
]
Its not the amps of the alternator output that you need to calculate for when determining the cable size between the switch and batteries, its the load of the starter draw. 4ga is too light for my taste on a V8 starter. 2ga sounds better for a short run. But, if you are running 1/0 or 2/0 for the amps main trunk line, get a little extra and use some for the battery cable to the switch.
Old    TigeMike (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       03-01-2013, 8:26 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrousbird View Post
I hadn't done any research about the ACR until it was mentioned here...looks like a pretty neat product. I'm liking the selection of products Blue Sea is offering, so I've been mostly looking at their stuff right now.

In regards to the ACR, I have a minor wiring question. The diagrams all show the house stuff on one side, and the other side being a starter battery. In my case, I assume I'd want all the house stuff on the starter battery side and the stereo stuff alone on the other side.
If it doesnt involve making the engine run, its a house load. Their diagrams are ideal.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       03-01-2013, 9:21 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrousbird View Post
I hadn't done any research about the ACR until it was mentioned here...looks like a pretty neat product. I'm liking the selection of products Blue Sea is offering, so I've been mostly looking at their stuff right now.

In regards to the ACR, I have a minor wiring question. The diagrams all show the house stuff on one side, and the other side being a starter battery. In my case, I assume I'd want all the house stuff on the starter battery side and the stereo stuff alone on the other side.
wire it like this:

Old    Detox (bass10after)      Join Date: Feb 2010       03-02-2013, 12:21 AM Reply   
not to derail your thread, but how do you like your Polk D4000.4? I'm considering this amp to bridge and power a pair of rev10's or use to power 4 xs650's.. does it play clean and does it ever get hot? does it make the power it claims to?
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       03-02-2013, 4:39 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by bass10after View Post
not to derail your thread, but how do you like your Polk D4000.4? I'm considering this amp to bridge and power a pair of rev10's or use to power 4 xs650's.. does it play clean and does it ever get hot? does it make the power it claims to?
Love this amp. This is why I'm getting the 5000.5 as well (it's on my shopping list). Clean power, no heat issues, and probably the best bang for the buck amp out there. This amp is actually made under several different brands - I chose Polk due to the price at the time and it was in-stock (and it looked the best out of the different brands). The two brands you can actually find in the US regularly are the NVX and PPI:
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...-JAD800.4.html
http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_...PI-P900.4.html
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       03-02-2013, 11:15 AM Reply   
Damn...all that wiring, terminals, batteries, etc. adds up.

Found a place on eBay that had a lot of the tinned terminals and stuff I needed; about $46 there. All the power wire shipped was about $200. I did all 2/0 wire except for for what feeds the distro block, which I used 1/0 there (only a couple foot run). Another $226 for the two batteries. $143 for the ground bus bar and the Add A Battery. $36 for the power distro block and fuses.

I'm sure the 2/0 off each battery to the switch is overkill, but I didn't feel like switching to a bunch of different gauge wires and having to order more than I needed of that wire.

Didn't order the charger yet as the wife wanted some birthday list stuff. I got some Cabela's gift cards for Christmas that will go towards it; they basically have Cabela's badged ProMarine ProSport chargers for the same price you can get the ProMarine badged stuff, so I will go that route. Either going to do the 12amp or the 20amp...probably the 20.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       03-02-2013, 12:22 PM Reply   
Wire it up on the switch exactly like on my diagram and then the dual bank charger won't combine through the ACR when the switch is in the off position.
Old     (Thrall)      Join Date: Oct 2010       03-04-2013, 6:21 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawndoggy View Post
That's not entirely accurate. When the acr closes, the batteries are joined and it's one big circuit from alternator to battery 1 to acr to battery 2. Electrons don't care which cable is hooked to which battery. Until the ACR opens, your two batteries are one big battery.

But I'm a big fan of the add a battery too.
Correct, my mistake. What I meant to say is that when the engine is not running, the ACR won't latch (well, it does for a bit until the batteries' voltage drop below the charging threshold
to latch), evvectively isolating the batteries from each other.
Simply put, if your stereo amps are on one battery and starting circuit on the other battery and you run down the stereo battery you will not run down the start battery.
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       03-15-2013, 9:17 PM Reply   
One last easy question; with the Blue Sea Add-A-Battery setup (which I have now mounted on my amp rack), do you need to switch the battery switch to off when using the dual battery on-board charger?
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       03-15-2013, 11:28 PM Reply   
If you wire it per my diagram, yes. When the switch is switched to off, then the batteries are absolutely positively disconnected from one another and the dual bank charger can do its thang on each battery as needed without combining the two into one big battery.

**if you wired it wrong, you'll see the light come on the acr when you plug in the charger, even when the switch is off.
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       03-16-2013, 5:13 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawndoggy View Post
If you wire it per my diagram, yes. When the switch is switched to off, then the batteries are absolutely positively disconnected from one another and the dual bank charger can do its thang on each battery as needed without combining the two into one big battery.

**if you wired it wrong, you'll see the light come on the acr when you plug in the charger, even when the switch is off.
This is what I figured. The only annoying thing about that is the clock on my multi-gauge will get reset every time I charge the battery.

I wonder if I would put a switch on the ground wire to the ACR if that would deactivate it when charging....
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       03-16-2013, 7:17 AM Reply   
yes you could do that... or even put the ground on a relay from your ignition so that you don't need to do it manually.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       03-16-2013, 7:54 AM Reply   
if you use a relay...


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

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