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Geoff from Oz

Dual Battery Upgrade for a 215 SSi Cuddy

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Thought I would create this post for others thinking of installing a dual battery system in their Chaparral.  This project was undertaken soon after I decided to install a PA-D5000.5 Polk Amplifier that requires a 70amp supply.  (I will make another post with pics of the Audio upgrade for those interested) 

You may know the house load on the 215 SSi is protected by a 50Amp breaker, I clearly needed a new supply to power the new Amplifier alone.  After reading comments from others on this forum, I decided the install the 120A Blue Seas Add-A-Battery Kit.  I also decided to re-use the old Blue Seas isolation switch to isolate the Start battery if required to start the engine with the House battery with a very sick Start battery.  A new Battery panel would be needed with room for the 120A Add-A-Battery Switch, ACR, 80Amp Breaker for the Amp in addition the the existing gear.  Installed a 100AH 27Series Deep Cycle Calcium Battery for the House Loads and a 100AH 27Series Calcium Battery for Engine Start.  All questions and comments welcome.  

Here is a link to the photo gallery.  http://s377.photobucket.com/user/geoffconnor/slideshow/Boating?sort=3

 

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Great Job Geoff-

I was considering a similar set-up and your pictures really help to encourage my project.

Thanks

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Considering the 70A draw on a 100A/Hr source the battery will last 1.4 Hrs, then consider the 55A or 65A alt trying to keep up with a 70A load thru a 50A circuit breaker?

You would need the 105 Amp alt installed.

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Very nice work!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great job very nice on the wiring.

I just think that your over thinking it. A dual switch and a VSR would work just fine. The Add a battery kit adds other problems to this. You can not start your engine on ether battery alone.

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12 hours ago, Geoff from Oz said:

You may know the house load on the 215 SSi is protected by a 50Amp breaker, I clearly needed a new supply to power the new Amplifier alone.

Id like to expand on this a little if you dont mind. Regardless of a house circuits capacity, an external amplifier is best terminated directly to the battery ground and main switch. Never a helm or house BUS.  

 

3 hours ago, Bt Doctur said:

Considering the 70A draw

In reality, the 5 chnl polk amp would likely have continuous draw in the 20A range at a reasonable volume level. Give or take 5-10 amps depending on how its loaded down and tuned. Driven hard, I doubt it would ever exceed 50A except for an occasional spike.  

If you drop anchor and play the system and other house loads for a better part of the day, I would rely more on shore charging that the alternator as well as consider a larger house battery bank.

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6 hours ago, Bt Doctur said:

Considering the 70A draw on a 100A/Hr source the battery will last 1.4 Hrs, then consider the 55A or 65A alt trying to keep up with a 70A load thru a 50A circuit breaker?

You would need the 105 Amp alt installed.

Maybe, I thought I would stay with the 70A Alternator for now and just monitor how things go.  I guess it all depends on usage patterns.

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5 hours ago, Iggy said:

Very nice work!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great job very nice on the wiring.

I just think that your over thinking it. A dual switch and a VSR would work just fine. The Add a battery kit adds other problems to this. You can not start your engine on ether battery alone.

Thanks.  I can start the engine in three ways.  1) Using start battery  (both switches in on pos)  2) Using both batteries (120A Switch in Combine pos other switch in on pos)  3) Using house battery (120A in combine pos and other switch in off pos).  Thats the reason I kept the old isolator.

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Just to be clear.  The 50A breaker is still running all the existing house loads on a 9 or 10 guage cable. The new 70A breaker is fed from the load side of the 120A Switch, The Amp is connected on the load side of the 70A breaker.  It's negative cable goes all the way back to the battery negative terminal.  For voltage drop reasons, I have used 3 guage cable for the Amp.

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2 hours ago, Geoff from Oz said:

Thanks.  I can start the engine in three ways.  1) Using start battery  (both switches in on pos)  2) Using both batteries (120A Switch in Combine pos other switch in on pos)  3) Using house battery (120A in combine pos and other switch in off pos).  Thats the reason I kept the old isolator.

Thats good.

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I can't view the pics on Photobucket for some reason...  Can you explain your reasoning for keeping the original single battery switch after adding the 2 battery switch?  I have added a battery using Blue Sea's Add a battery kit (includes ACR) but I'm not following why you might want to further isolate the primary (?) battery with an additional switch.  In what circumstance would it be desirable to be able to choose to "start your engine from a single battery alone"? 

I'm an electrical novice, thus the beginner questions!  Hopefully someone can explain so my simple mind comprehends!?

Sean

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Seems Photo Bucket was down for maintenance an hour ago, its back now.  Your question has been subject to many comments on this forum.  I guess the answer is to do with options.  While on the water you want to have a number of good options to start your engine and get home.  After all that's why we all add a second battery.  

Adding the Start Battery isolator provides a 3rd starting option.  If for some reason your Start Battery suddenly fails,  this could be an internal melt-down, battery terminal connection problem or partial cable fault.  Switching to the combine position could impact the ability of the House battery to start the engine as it will be connected in parallel with a very sick Start Battery.   The Start Battery Isolator can be used to easily disconnect the Start Battery to allow the House Battery to crank the engine.  It’s early morning here now so need to head to work.  Will soon post a wiring diagram to make this clear for everyone to follow.  Hope this helps.

 

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That does help, thanks!  I get that you want maximum flexibility in the event of a serious battery failure beyond simply running it flat.  I have struggled to understand the function of the ACR and how they work and thought I'd figured it out.  When I read this post I was convinced I had missed something.  Now I see that you are simply ensuring you have a third option if wearing belts and suspenders isn't enough! :lol:  Seems simple enough to do but does insert an added level of complexity for electrically challenged people like me.

Sean

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Its been some time now since the Dual Battery post, so I thought I would provide how they have performed over the last two seasons.  Mostly thanks to my daughter, the music system does get a workout all day and most of that is when we are anchored just off shore.  Always wondered when the house battery would go flat with all this use, thankfully it never has.  Really good to know we wont ever get stuck out there.  Learned you must keep those calcium batteries topped up, left one low over winter and it was dead by summer time.  When I say dead, I mean beyond a re-charge.    

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Good to hear.  I have the add a battery setup as well on my 2135. Interstate deep cycle Series 27 runs ignition and accessories and 1000 watt stereo.  My start battery runs gauge cluster and starter.  To date, I've never run out of battery when at anchor, even running radio for hours.

This last weekend I splashed the boat, turned batteries on and found both batteries in good shape, even with several hard freezes this winter, and no battery charges.  Boat ran great once I finally got her fired up.  It took quite a lot of cranking, the first start always takes patience, and ultimately I needed to put batteries in parallel mode for extra cranking speed. 

I so love the setup.

 

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On 24/10/2016 at 6:40 AM, Geoff from Oz said:

Maybe, I thought I would stay with the 70A Alternator for now and just monitor how things go.  I guess it all depends on usage patterns.

Now after two seasons, I am sure the 70A Alternator works fine with my setup.  I guess if you are planning to live on your boat for weeks on end with no opportunity to top up your batteries with a battery charger, then maybe an Alternator upgrade might be considered.  Very possible the Polk Audio draws on average far less than max current of 70Amps.  

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1 hour ago, Duane2135 said:

Good to hear.  I have the add a battery setup as well on my 2135. Interstate deep cycle Series 27 runs ignition and accessories and 1000 watt stereo.  My start battery runs gauge cluster and starter.  To date, I've never run out of battery when at anchor, even running radio for hours.

This last weekend I splashed the boat, turned batteries on and found both batteries in good shape, even with several hard freezes this winter, and no battery charges.  Boat ran great once I finally got her fired up.  It took quite a lot of cranking, the first start always takes patience, and ultimately I needed to put batteries in parallel mode for extra cranking speed. 

I so love the setup.

 

Well done, we both now have one less thing to worry about while in the water.  Friends and family always enjoy time on our boat, playing their favorite tunes on a powerful system just improves their day even more.  For me that's what it's all about.

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Some Audio companies rate the unit at PEAK watts. LOOKS much stronger.    But the amps at average or RMS amps.  More realistic.  240 watts RMS & good speakers is a dull head ache.  If combined with bright sunlight, to me.  Even if it is a  ABBA .  :wub:

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On 10/24/2016 at 3:59 PM, canuck1 said:

I can't view the pics on Photobucket for some reason...  Can you explain your reasoning for keeping the original single battery switch after adding the 2 battery switch?  I have added a battery using Blue Sea's Add a battery kit (includes ACR) but I'm not following why you might want to further isolate the primary (?) battery with an additional switch.  In what circumstance would it be desirable to be able to choose to "start your engine from a single battery alone"? 

I'm an electrical novice, thus the beginner questions!  Hopefully someone can explain so my simple mind comprehends!?

Sean

I know this is an old story for me. But I would not use the Add-a-battery kit for many reasons. First off, you can not start your engine on ether battery alone. you would have no way of knowing if it could. If your main battery is completely dead, with this kit you must combine them and you risk killing the 2nd battery. The good one could drain into the bad one.

A standard dual battery setup with a combiner or V.S.R. would give you complete control. A better set up would be, have a dual battery setup for starting. Than add on the Add a battery kit for a 3rd battery to power your sound system. Other wise your total dependent on one battery for starting and one for sound.   

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Thanks for the comments Iggy, I have re-used the original single pole battery Isolator as a main battery Isolator Switch.  When both switches are in the ON position, the main battery is there to crank the Merc and the house battery for the Sound System and all other small loads.  I can move the Add-A-Battery Switch to the Combine position if the main battery needs a little lift.  Alternatively, if the main battery is completely dead, I can isolate the main battery to leave the house battery to get me home.  This setup works really well as it covers all possibilities (apart from both batteries failing at the same time :) ).   The ACR looks after charging both batteries automatically without manually moving switches around. The Add-A-Battery solution provides for the connection for of an indicator light to show battery charge/discharge/low state.  If you want to run a high power sound system on your boat without always worrying if you are draining your single battery, this is a good solution.  Had it for two seasons now and never had a problem, would do the same thing in my next boat for sure.      

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I was not really talking about your set up, just in general about that kit. The way you have it hooked up, it sounds like (without a wiring diagram) that you just need is a combiner or V.S.R. with a dual battery setup. But there are more ways to do this with the same out come. Good luck!

 

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3 hours ago, Iggy said:

I was not really talking about your set up, just in general about that kit. The way you have it hooked up, it sounds like (without a wiring diagram) that you just need is a combiner or V.S.R. with a dual battery setup. But there are more ways to do this with the same out come. Good luck!

 

This has been beat to death... so why stop now, lol.  While I realize what you are saying, I'm still a fan.  One switch on/off keeps it simple for guest and guest captains.  If I have a battery failure situation then I can simply remove the failed battery.  But for every day use this is a simple solution that has worked flawlessly so far.  I never wonder if either batter has been recently charged.  I have no power management concerns or duties.  As it happens my gauge cluster battery gauge covers the starting battery, my gps shows the voltage on house battery.  So if a battery fails, I'll know which one and remove it to limp home.

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3 hours ago, Duane2135 said:

This has been beat to death... so why stop now, lol.  While I realize what you are saying, I'm still a fan.  One switch on/off keeps it simple for guest and guest captains.  If I have a battery failure situation then I can simply remove the failed battery.  But for every day use this is a simple solution that has worked flawlessly so far.  I never wonder if either batter has been recently charged.  I have no power management concerns or duties.  As it happens my gauge cluster battery gauge covers the starting battery, my gps shows the voltage on house battery.  So if a battery fails, I'll know which one and remove it to limp home.

With the add a battery kit, if your starting battery dies. You will need to move the battery or move the battery cables. Thats why Mr Oz wired it the way he did.He can flip a switch and all is good.

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1 hour ago, Iggy said:

With the add a battery kit, if your starting battery dies. You will need to move the battery or move the battery cables. Thats why Mr Oz wired it the way he did.He can flip a switch and all is good.

I've never had a starting battery fail (knock on wood) but I have always kept a set of jumper cables on board. That way, rather than mess around switching batteries or cables, I would be able to just jump from my twin house batteries.

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Sorry for 'sparking' so much conversation on the topic again. 

Just to clarify.  A battery can be in working order but low in charge, connecting a healthy battery with jumper leads may be ok to get you home.  If the battery has faulted internally and shorting has occured, the battery must be isolated from the load before connecting a good battery.  Without disconnecting the faulted battery may potentially over load or even damage the good battery.  

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4 hours ago, Iggy said:

With the add a battery kit, if your starting battery dies. You will need to move the battery or move the battery cables

Or just move the switch one more click to COMBINE and get some help from the house bank to re-fire the engine. 

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