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Go Back   WakeWorld > >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive > Archive through May 19, 2006

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Old    ramg66            05-07-2006, 8:59 PM Reply   
I bought my boat last July and a couple months later I had speakers, amp, and a lightbar installed from a second party, I noticed they installed 2 switches one for the 3 front lights and one for the 2 back lights, but none for the amp. I also noticed all this was installed directly to the battery so if ignition is off/on it still works. I let some kids go in my boat as I was showing it to some relatives and one of them flipped the switches to the lights and left them on, so of course I had a dead battery. I then charged it over night and went boating with no problems, but now it seems my battery dies every couple of weeks if I don't charge. My question is do you think the amp is drawing power? Did they install wrong because it doesnt go through the ignition? Should I install a second battery for acc?

BTW I have warranty on all this stuff, I just need a little info so I dont take it to the wrong place (boat dealer or wake tower dealer).

Thanks in advance
Old    Adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       05-08-2006, 6:26 AM Reply   
Take the battery out and have it (load)tested. Any local auto parts store can do this for you. You will be able to tell if it's good or not. IF the battery is good , move on from there.
Old    Rod McInnis (rodmcinnis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       05-08-2006, 10:45 AM Reply   
You didn't mention any fuses. I hope that you do have some and you just didn't bother explaining in that detail.

Going all the way back to the battery to pick up power AND ground is definately the right way to do it. Had they attempted to connect the lights and/or amp to the boats original power panel it would have worked very poorly and would have caused all sorts of problems. As long as they put fuses to the amp and lights then you should be okay.

The amp should power up and down based on a signal from the head unit. Most amps have lights of some sort on them so you can see when they are on. If the amps turn on when you turn the stereo on, then turn off when the stereo turns off you should be fine.

If the amps stay on even when the stereo is off then you need to fix that. The amp should have a connection for a small wire, often labled "remote" or similar. This will connect to the head unit, which often lables the output as "power antenna" (intended to raise the antenna on a car equipped with an automatic power antenna).

Did you buy the boat new or used? If the boat is new then I would not expect the battery to be bad, so I would look for something drawing power. New stuff added is the likely culprit but be sure you don't have an automatic bilge pump comming on once a minute that draws power.

If you have a multi-meter, know what you are doing and are really careful you can trace down where a current draw is coming from. I am reluctant to describe it because it is sooooo easy to damage the multi-meter....

Basically you put the meter in "amps" mode, then connect it in series with the battery cable. A two week drain would be somewhere in the 0.1 amp range, so you are looking for a small number. If you see the drain, then start disconnecting things until it drops to at least 0.01 amps (it probably will never go to zero).

The problem is that if you accidentially turn anything on, or the bilge pump kicks in, or you touch the meter leads to the wrong spot, or the electrical system draws a little surge when the battery is first connected then you will probably blow the fuse in the meter. Then it will read zero......

If you just can't find the power drain then you can always disconnect the battery when you are done with the boat. A battery switch makes this easy, but it generally isn't too difficult to remove the cable from the battery.

If the battery is a couple years old then it is possible that it was damaged when it was run dead. It is common for a battery that is near the end of its life to really suffer if it is totally discharged.

Old    ramg66            05-08-2006, 8:24 PM Reply   
Thanks guys for the advice, Rod that was very informative and I appreciate you taking the time. My boat is brand new 2005 SeaRay 185 Sport (could not afford a real wakeboarding boat), I will try everything you suggested, and will install a second battery with a perko switch.
Old    Adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       05-08-2006, 8:39 PM Reply   
If you bought he boat last July (10 months ago) and everything worked fine untill you totally discharged the battery recently, the problem is probably the battery. Am I missing something in the equation? What is the resting voltage of the battery after it's been hooked to a trickle charger overnite? I have seen amps go bad and draw power even though all power lights are off....I can't explain it but one of my JL 500/1's will cause a slight drain on my battery overnite unless I "pop" the breaker. It worked fine for about a year then started acting up.

Rod mentioned fuses....you should also see relay's inline coming off the lights.

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