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Trickle charge setup for 2008 256 SSX

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I have a 2008 256 SSX on a boat lift at a vacation home in Cape Coral, FL. My boat gets minimal use throughout the year, typically over holidays around Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and perhaps one or two other times during the year. Otherwise, the boat sits on a lift at my home. I'd like to set up a trickle charge for my boat, but am unsure how to go about this. I'd prefer to do this myself if possible. My dock has power outlets next to the lift. Is this a difficult process? I haven't checked my boat to see what type of batteries are installed, which I assume matters when buying a trickle charge system. Any feedback would be appreciated.

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I am assuming that you have 2 bats.

Get a 2 bank smart charger (onboard)

something like a Guest http://www.batterystuff.com/battery-chargers/12-volt/

just follow directions very easy to install

I also installed a 120v receptical on the side of the boat for easy hook up

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=92986&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&storeId=11151&storeNum=50523&subdeptNum=50543&classNum=50546

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What happens if you only hook up the trickle charger to one of the 2 batteries?

If you have a factory installed dual battery set up, then you have both a battery switch and isolator. The isolator contains diodes that are essentially electrical check valves that only allow current flow in one direction. This allows the engine alternator to charge both batteries when the battery switch is in position 1, but isolates ships systems to only the battery selected while at anchor. By placing the charger to the jumper lugs, you are on the linked side of the isolator and will charge both batteries without the need to leave the battery switch in the “both” position while your boat is in storage.

W

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I use a ProMariner dual battery charger that has a full charge cycle then goes over to a trickle. It's got a pair of output leads that hook directly to the battery terminals and routes power to each battery according to demand. If your house battery is cooked after a day on the water but the starting battery is charged, the house batttery gets most of the juice until it's topped off, for example.

Now, having said that, I will often leave my boat plugged in on the lift for several days at a time, but I don't leave it plugged in 100%. This time of year I leave it plugged in almost full time, for two reasons. 1. we don't use the boat as much so they don't recharge from the engine as often and 2. there is not the risk of lightning.

However, In the summer, I normally unplug it after a day or two for the specific reason that I've heard of lightning hitting the lift or power supply, frying the charger and also frying the onboard electronics. I figure if the charger is not plugged in the risk is much less. We have the distinction on the Gulf Coast of Florida here as the most lightning prone area in the country (if not the world).

Maybe get the on board charger to give the batteries a full charge cycle prior to leaving Florida, then hook up a solar trickle charger for long term maintenance while you're away.

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I use a 2 amp Battery Tender Junior hooked to the two jumper terminals in the starboard battery switch locker. It will maintain both batteries with the battery switch in the off position.

http://www.jafrum.co...CFUWo4AodbmQAVQ

I just bought the Tender Junior based on Wingnut's recommendation. Leave battery switch in "Off" position, hook up tender to jumper terminals, an apply 115v and walk away? Sounds easy enough.

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I love Battery Tenders, actually have three Batter Tender Plus versions.

They also make a waterproof version for only 32 deer

41VjmUbLGpL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

http://www.amazon.co...f=pd_sim_auto_5

And a solar version if it's too far to run an extension cord

4112Yp-CliL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tender-021-1163-Solar-Maintainer/dp/B004Q83TGO

Great recommendation by W

series9.gif

In Figure 9 we see a pair of 12-volt batteries connected in parallel. This 12-volt battery pack is connected to a single 12-volt charger. Note the blue wire designated W1. The purpose of this wire is to balance the voltage drop evenly across both batteries and each wire during charging. This is not critical for lower current chargers, but when you start to get into the 10 amp and above range, the voltage differential can be significant. The blue wire W1 must be connected to the opposite end of the battery pack as the black wire at the top of the battery pack.

When batteries are connected in parallel, only use one charger. Do not connect a charger to each battery, unless you break the electrical connection between the batteries. The reason is that the chargers will very likely complete one or more their charging subroutines (charge modes or stages) at different times. That means that each charger would be trying to bring the battery pack to a different voltage level. Depending on how the chargers are configured to prevent a reverse polarity connection, the charger with the lower voltage output could possibly draw current from the charger with the higher voltage output, or even from the battery pack that it is trying to charge. If the chargers' reverse polarity protection mechanism includes a solid state, unidirectional, voltage controlled, current switch (like a diode), then this is not a big problem

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I just bought the Tender Junior based on Wingnut's recommendation. Leave battery switch in "Off" position, hook up tender to jumper terminals, an apply 115v and walk away? Sounds easy enough.

Yea, even if you happen to hook it up to a really flat battery, it will still get her back to normal in a couple days. It's not like your boat is really 12 needy like the overnight cruisers. By keeping the battery switch in the off position, ships systems are isolated during storage, and you won't drain a good battery into a dead one, as you are on the upstream side of the isolator. The only things that will stay powered is the ECM and radio memories, bilge pump, power trim, and Mercathode system, if so equipped. Cheap insurance. I'm going into season #6 with a pair of Interstate Marine batteries, and they still test really good. I always used Delco Marine, but can't find them locally anymore, but I have installed several Interstates in both boats and cars, and so far, so good.

W

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Another tip on saving you battery, might want to disconnect the CO monitor, if so equipped. It is probably the biggest drain on the battery, and will still draw current when battery switch is in off position.

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I have a 2008 256 SSX on a boat lift at a vacation home in Cape Coral, FL. My boat gets minimal use throughout the year, typically over holidays around Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and perhaps one or two other times during the year. Otherwise, the boat sits on a lift at my home. I'd like to set up a trickle charge for my boat, but am unsure how to go about this. I'd prefer to do this myself if possible. My dock has power outlets next to the lift. Is this a difficult process? I haven't checked my boat to see what type of batteries are installed, which I assume matters when buying a trickle charge system. Any feedback would be appreciated.

If you give me your address I can go over and care for your property and the boat when your not there. My 256 ssx will be jealous cause she is secured away for the winter

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Hopefully this isn't hijacking the tread too much:

I seem to be having an issue with my battery tender keeping both batteries charged. I think it has to do with the wiring of the battery switch. When I set the switch to “Off”, it was only charging battery one through the jumper cable posts. Battery two was dead (or at least so weak it wouldn’t power the LED arch lights). After looking at the wiring I moved the switch to “Both” and came back the next day. Both batteries are now at 12.2V.

So, disregard my art abilities and tell me if this is right. I don’t see how battery two can get any voltage unless the switch is on “Both” Battery two looks isolated from the jumper cable posts.

Should I leave the switch set to “Both” or is there another issue I don’t see?

Batteryboat1_zps5455d763.jpg

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Make life easy on yourselves. If you have a seperate STARTER battery & a seperate REST OF THE BOAT battery.

Simply buy 2..... 2 amp trickle tenders and connect 1 charger on each.

1slowhoe is a good example of needing 2 Trickle chargers. Simple to connect & understand.

Caution..........I would ALWAYS disconnect a trickle charger if you are going to use a full amperage full sized charger across that battery. Neither charger should ever cause damage to the battery or each other. Remember to disconnect BOTH chargers if you plan to loosen or remove a battery cable. If you DO NOT...............then the much higher charger voltages CAN BURN OUT ANYTHING still connected to the cables.........Bilge pumps CO2 & CO alarms.

More gadgets.............More responsibility for you to keep track of

Good luck.

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Hopefully this isn't hijacking the tread too much:

I seem to be having an issue with my battery tender keeping both batteries charged. I think it has to do with the wiring of the battery switch. When I set the switch to “Off”, it was only charging battery one through the jumper cable posts. Battery two was dead (or at least so weak it wouldn’t power the LED arch lights). After looking at the wiring I moved the switch to “Both” and came back the next day. Both batteries are now at 12.2V.

So, disregard my art abilities and tell me if this is right. I don’t see how battery two can get any voltage unless the switch is on “Both” Battery two looks isolated from the jumper cable posts.

Should I leave the switch set to “Both” or is there another issue I don’t see?

Batteryboat1_zps5455d763.jpg

I don't see the isolator in your drawing. My 2008 has a diode based unit that allows charging both batteries from the jumper posts while still keeping the two batteries separated.

W

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I do not have an isolator that I can find. I do not have a problem buying another trickle charger and hooking 1 up to each battery if that's the easiest answer. I assume if I do that then I can just set the battery switch to OFF?

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I use a smart 2 bank battery charger, connect it to BOTH batteries--plug it in and forget it! Battery switch is left in the off position and I have had no problems since I installed it, I would highly recommend it. Bought it from Amazon, below link to it, I have had NOCO on the phone a couple times and they are excellent!

http://www.geniuschargers.com/GEN2

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I do not have an isolator that I can find. I do not have a problem buying another trickle charger and hooking 1 up to each battery if that's the easiest answer. I assume if I do that then I can just set the battery switch to OFF?

That's an option as is Gator's set-up.

W

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http://www.ecovantagemarine.com/items/item2048.htm

I really like this setup. It is pretty much what you find on the big boats. Makes everything easy and keeps both batteries charged at all times.

I would wire it like this

Untitled_zps5eddf627.jpg

This keeps your stereo and all lights isolated from the start battery. You do not have to turn the switch back and forth like a 1-2-both switch with out an isolater or charging relay like your current setup.

Just turn the start and house switches on and your ready to boat. When your done turn both switches off. When the start battery reaches 12.6 volts the charging relay turns on and charges the house battery. If for some reason the start battery is dead just turn the "emergency start" switch on and start up the boat.

Keeping the trim pump wired to the start battery helps with noise in your radio.

Also if the house battery (battery #2) is not a deep cycle I would change it.

With this setup a single charger will charge both batteries, But would get a 2 bank charger as it will monitor both batteries separately and charge accordingly.

Was the dual battery setup factory or dealer installed? I have never seen one wired like that.

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That's a pretty intense setup. I already bought another trickle charger so that's my fix for the winter. This was a dealer installed add-on. I wanted 2 batteries, 1 dedicated to the upgraded stereo. I have had to spend over 1 large herd of deer fixing things the dealer should have done right. Prep work, wiring, trim popping off etc..so the battery switch being wrong wouldn't really surprise me.

W- there is no isolator that I can find. Dealer probably left it off to save a buck and that's why I have a funky wiring schematic.

Related question:

I will have to go take another look, but where SHOULD my Alternator wire being connected so that the Alt will charge battery 1 & 2 while the engine is running and I have the selector switch on "1" ?

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Now you are asking to do it correctly. Way to go.

There are / were many different ways to charge both from 1 engine alternator. Basically blocking diodes are needed & a relay that shifts from 1 battery to the other.

At no time do you want to connect both batteries together ...........UNLESS ............YOU............DELIBERTLY ...........do it with switches or jumpers. Reason ?

If a battery has 1 of the cells short out. That battery will quickly drag the other battery down to 10 volts also. Now you can not crank the engine with out burning up the starter contacts or the brushes / commutator segments. Your bilge pumps will be very low capacity to keep up with pumping. Not sure you computer would run the engine , or electric fuel pump...............Not a good thing if you can avoid it.

Almost forgot . A battery with a shorted cell is a 10 volt battery. So it will always pull maximum current..........That will ruin the plates of the good cells.

Toast is always toast.

Edit

The bad battery is toast in October in storage. The good battery would be dragged down to 10 volts & held there all winter. Depending on freezing temperatures the battery my freeze solid. Ice can expand a lot right around 30 degrees F. Not good for the plates or glass mats in lead types of batteries.

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On the Mercrusier engine the alternator wire is the large orange wire connected down on the main stud of the starter with the big red battery cable.

With the it wired the way it is now if you run with the switch on #1 all the charge goes to #1 and everything but the trim pump and the 20 amp breaker (probably captains call?) runs off battery #1. If you run with the switch on #2 both batteries are getting a charge since the starter is wired to both the common post on the switch and the jumper post.

While it works this way it is less than ideal since the batteries are no longer isolated and can both go dead leaving you stranded. Also with the current setup your boat should start with the battery switch in the off position.

The good better and best would be:

Good

Leave almost every thing as is but remove the wire that connects the jumper post to the starter and move the 20 amp circuit breaker to the common side of the switch so everything is off when the switch on off. (It is nice to leave the trim pump connected directly so you can use the transom trim with the switch off.) This way it will only charge the battery selected by the switch and everything is running on that battery. What some do is run on "Both" and float on "2" This works great but if you forget to turn the switch when floating you end up with 2 dead batteries.

Better

Wire the same as above but add a dual sensing vsr. Now if you run on #1 it will charge #1 till 12.6v then charge #2. When running on #2 it will charge #2 till 12.6v then charge #1. This way most people run on #1 and float on #2. The good thing about this is if you forget to turn the switch when floating you still have a second fully charged battery to start the engine. The simple way to explain a votage sensing relay is think of it like a automatic switch. When the battery recieving a charge gets to a fully charged state the switch turns on and charges the other battery. When the battery recieving a charge drops below fully charged the switch turns off isolating the batteries and allowing all of the charge to go to the one battery.

Best would be the "intense setup" While looking intimidating it is a great setup as you never need to turn the switches once they are on.

Batteryboat1_zps4359b5ca.jpg

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Kawma,

Thanks for all the info. So the way it sits I have to run with the switch on "Both" to charge both batteries and that is the only way battery 2 will get any type of charge. When set to "1" the alt is only charging battery one and when set to "2" I am charging nothing?

So, when on "2" I can be on the hook with no fear of drawing down battery one, at the same time if I forget to switch from "Both" to "2" I (potentially) kill both batteries?

I will definitely get this looked at before I start boating again.

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Here is a simple way to see if you have an isolator with your battery switch. With the battery switch in the #1 position and the motor off, read the voltage of #1 battery and #2 battery. Start the motor, #1 battery voltage will rise. If #2 battery voltage increases, then there is an isolator in the system. If #2 battery voltage does not increase.......no isolator.

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The way it sits right now according to the picture you drew is like this with the switch on "OFF" and 2 fully charged batteries everything should work and only battery 1 will be getting a charge. If you leave any lights or the radio on the battery 1 will go dead even with the switch off. I tried to show why this is below.

Batteryboat1OFF_zps50547f3c.jpg

Looking at the picture if you start at the #1 battery and follow the wire you can see that power from battery 1 goes down to the #1 lug on the switch, over to the + jump post, up to the starter, then back to the common terminal on the switch and finally to the stereo and circuit breaker (which if is still wired factory should be power to the helm switches. So all electronics will work battery 1 will be charged and battery 2 will go dead since the trim and 20 amp breaker (should be captains call) are connected to it. So while running #1 is being charged but when sitting #1 can be discharged. This is all with the switch off!

Now if you turn the switch to #1 there is no change and it will run just like the pic above.

With the switch on #2 power is supplied to everything and both batteries are getting a charge. If you look at the pic below and start at the starter since that where the alternator wire connects to deliver the charge. Part of the charge from the alternator goes down the wire to the jumper post, over to the terminal #1 on the switch and up to battery 1. The rest of the charge from the alternator goes down to the common terminal on the switch, across the switch and to the #2 terminal, and up to battery #2. So while running both batteries are charging but while floating both batteries are being drawn down.

Batteryboat1switch2_zpsd26d3eff.jpg

With the switch on both there is no change. It will run just like the pic above.

If you remove the red wire from the starter to the jumper post everything should work properly. Everything but the trim pump and the 20 amp breaker run off the battery the battery selected by the switch and that battery selected by the switch will recieve a charge.

Batteryboat1orig_zps065df0a9.jpg

So if wired like the pic above:

Switch on #1 everything but the trim and 20 amp breaker running on #1 and #1 is getting charged.

" " Both or All Everything is combined both batteries being drawn down evenly and charged evenly.

" " #2 everything runs on # 2 and #2 is being charged.

If you wanted to keep most everything you had and fix this issue the cheapest and easiest way remove the wire between starter and jumper post, run on both and float on #1.That way when running both batteries are being charged and while floating just the #1 battery is being drawn down. I would select the #1 battery for floating just because it is isolated from the trim pump and 20 amp breaker.

I hope this makes some sense I tried to explain it as best I could.

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