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Thread: Battery Selector protocol

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    Member bkbaker's Avatar
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    Default Battery Selector protocol

    Oh great ones, I need some info. As a kid dad never switched the selector while the main was running. He always told me it was wrong to do so. Is this true? I have continued with my own boat to never switch while the motor is running. While looking for information about this I found a lot of talk about running only one battery at a time while running. Why would I do that? Should I do that? At night switching to a "house" battery while on anchor makes perfect sense. But otherwise..... Patiently waiting somebody smarter to respond


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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    I leave it on both unless anchored and using power. With our daylight hours I usually don't even switch it then even. I usually never turn n the mooring light either unless I think anther boat might be around as my anchorages are usually singular.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    The isolator switch simply selects which battery bank is charging or discharging.
    Many variables such as battery type, size, etc...that prevent a generic answer to your question.

    Most cases its ok to switch but have seen where ignorance on the subject could cause serious issues.
    Be more specific as to your scenario and we'll see if we can't answer you correctly.
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  4. #4
    Member bkbaker's Avatar
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    Can I change the switch while running.

    Is there any reason to run on anything other than both.


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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Yes you can. Several of us use battery 1 to start them switch over to both while running. Once anchored up for the night we switch over to 2 for main house power. I have 2 batteries tied in junction on #2 for house. After switching to this set up I haven't needed my generator at all on longer trips out and I never have issues starting in the morning.
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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    i have 2 8D batteries on my rig w/a 1,2, both, off switch. I start & run on 2 on even days & start & run on 1 odd days. Never run on both cause if one batt has a problem the other will try to "save" it and mostly kill both. You can switch from 1 to 2 or 1 or 2 to both but NEVER go to the OFF position while engine is running.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    Yes you can. Several of us use battery 1 to start them switch over to both while running. Once anchored up for the night we switch over to 2 for main house power. I have 2 batteries tied in junction on #2 for house. After switching to this set up I haven't needed my generator at all on longer trips out and I never have issues starting in the morning.
    Same. Just returned from a week long trip and no generator required. Research ACR's (automaric chgarging relays)and install one, makes the system charging even easier when running the motors. Customers like them as it charges both banks automatically.
    If you need help with any of it, give me a call.
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  8. #8
    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    You can switch while the motor is on as long as your switch is a "make before break" design. What that means is the switch will make the connection to the next battery before is breaks the old connection. I haven't experienced it, but if you have an old style switch that breaks the connection you can cause problems with your electronics.

    This link shows what I'm talking about. http://www.perko.com/catalog/category/battery_switches/ Make sure to click on the "show more" button.
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  9. #9

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    I use the ACR's BK Mail mentions. Reasearch makes pre-wired packages for several configurations single engine-two bank, twin engine- two bank, etc..
    Makes installation simple. I've used them for several years and they work great. I have twins, so there are two ACR's, one charges the house battery and the other charges a battery dedicated to run things like a hauler, down riggers and thruster after the two start batteries are charged. You can hear them click on and off. There is also a switch to combine start batteries if needed. I think Blue Sea makes something similar but I'm not familiar with it.

  10. #10
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    The reason your dad told you not to switch to a different battery when the main is running is there are several thing that could cause it to destroy the alternator.

    We know nothing about how your boat is wired. I would make sure it's wire correctly by checking it with a meter before switching the battery.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    i have 2 8D batteries on my rig w/a 1,2, both, off switch. I start & run on 2 on even days & start & run on 1 odd days. Never run on both cause if one batt has a problem the other will try to "save" it and mostly kill both. You can switch from 1 to 2 or 1 or 2 to both but NEVER go to the OFF position while engine is running.
    I prefer the method potbuilder is using, it is simple and it does not have the problems the ACR charging system have. Most owners can not remember to rotate the batteries or do not have a properly design system that will provide enough power for their boat. The ACR is a better choice at the cost of replacing the batteries every two or three years.

    The problem is not the ACR but the charging system is not adequate .

  13. #13
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    I prefer the method potbuilder is using, it is simple and it does not have the problems the ACR charging system have. Most owners can not remember to rotate the batteries or do not have a properly design system that will provide enough power for their boat. The ACR is a better choice at the cost of replacing the batteries every two or three years.
    This works If all your batteries are identical. They should not be the same though. A dedicated start and a set of house batts are a better set up. The ACR takes the thinking out of your charging system as most people don't switch while running to charge both banks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    This works If all your batteries are identical.
    The ACR system is the one that needs all the batteries to be the same chemical because of paralleling the batteries when the ACR switch over to charge the 2nd battery.


    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    A dedicated start and a set of house batts are a better set up. Bk

    I know the conventional thinking is you need a starting battery, this is just not true when talking about
    out drive engines, a deep cycle is a better choice.

    I could bore you with all the details why, but I wont.

  15. #15
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    The ACR system is the one that needs all the batteries to be the same chemical because of paralleling the batteries when the ACR switch over to charge the 2nd battery.





    I know the conventional thinking is you need a starting battery, this is just not true when talking about
    out drive engines, a deep cycle is a better choice.

    I could bore you with all the details why, but I wont.
    Agree, no argument here. Wanted to help educate bkbaker that's its not a simple yes\no answer as many variables come into play. I think its fairly clear that a typical user does not understand a boats 12v system.
    Often times it costs money to correct a self induced issue that could have been prevented initially with some understanding of the system.
    Hope were helping Bkbaker?!
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  16. #16
    Member bkbaker's Avatar
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    Default Battery Selector protocol

    More is better. Thanks for all points and info.


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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    i have 2 8D batteries on my rig w/a 1,2, both, off switch. I start & run on 2 on even days & start & run on 1 odd days. Never run on both cause if one batt has a problem the other will try to "save" it and mostly kill both. You can switch from 1 to 2 or 1 or 2 to both but NEVER go to the OFF position while engine is running.
    My wife turned the switches to Off while WOT....... I had a very quick thought of trying out a new shrimp bait but I forgave her for not understanding the whole "on & off" thing.


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