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Battery, Charge controller, switch wiring - clean slate

Apr 7, 2016
184
Beneteau First 305 Seward, Alaska
Lot of what looks like belt dust on the alternator. (Not good stuff to breath)
Check your belt alignment and tensions.
Or it may just be good Alaska Dust... Still I would clean it off of the alternator. A clean alternator is a cool running alternator...
Yeah overall the engine is fairly dirty. I bought the boat late into the fall and only took it out a few times before I had to winterize it. The harbor shuts off water the beginning of October. The boat was largely unused for years before I got it. Everything needs a good cleaning.
 
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Likes: jssailem
Nov 7, 2011
2,550
Catalina 30 Mk II Barnegat, NJ
2. The directions show the start isolation wired to the “run” spot on the key switch. Maine sail’s picture has it run to the alternator. Which is the correct spot and how important is this? The directions show it as optional.
From the Blue Sea instructions for the ACR SI connection. (Bold is mine) "Connect a wire from the quick connect terminal marked SI (starting isolation) to the terminal or wire running from the start key switch to the starter solenoid. Make this connection through an in-line fuse of one to ten amps. This connection can be made at the start key switch or at the starter solenoid, but must be to the line that is positive only when cranking. Connection to a line that is positive while the engine is normally running will prevent the charging relay from working properly."

It does not say to connect to the "run" spot on the key switch.

They say it is optional as it is only needed if you have isolated house and start banks. You don't want to go through the trouble to have isolated banks, then have the ACR defeat that by being in combine mode when you start the engine.
I think you have the isolated banks so you do need it. The instructions are confusing because you may, as I do, have a key switch that has run and glow plug modes and a separate start button. Then it connects between the start button and solenoid.
 
Apr 7, 2016
184
Beneteau First 305 Seward, Alaska
From the Blue Sea instructions for the ACR SI connection. (Bold is mine) "Connect a wire from the quick connect terminal marked SI (starting isolation) to the terminal or wire running from the start key switch to the starter solenoid. Make this connection through an in-line fuse of one to ten amps. This connection can be made at the start key switch or at the starter solenoid, but must be to the line that is positive only when cranking. Connection to a line that is positive while the engine is normally running will prevent the charging relay from working properly."

It does not say to connect to the "run" spot on the key switch.

They say it is optional as it is only needed if you have isolated house and start banks. You don't want to go through the trouble to have isolated banks, then have the ACR defeat that by being in combine mode when you start the engine.
I think you have the isolated banks so you do need it. The instructions are confusing because you may, as I do, have a key switch that has run and glow plug modes and a separate start button. Then it connects between the start button and solenoid.
Lol, I was reading your post and was wondering where I was disagreeing with you... went back and read my post and giggled to myself. You’re right I must’ve been thinking of something else when I wrote “run” when I meant to write “start”. I’ll just blame it on the alcohol.
 
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Likes: Ward H
Oct 22, 2014
10,404
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
went back and read my post and giggled to myself. You’re right I must’ve been thinking of something else when I wrote “run” when I meant to write “start”. I’ll just blame it on the alcohol.
Juice. These are trigger words. I’m afraid you have a case of drinking and texting.
You may need to think about getting a DT, (designated texter) next time you start drinking and texting.
 
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Likes: Tom J
Apr 7, 2016
184
Beneteau First 305 Seward, Alaska
And thanks again for the help. Wife is gettin hip surgery tomorrow so it’ll be a bit before I’m back at the boat. But I’ll definitely get that start switch installed. Then work on the negative bus wired right. Then I’m ready to go SAILING... well in about 4 more months
 
Oct 22, 2014
10,404
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Give your lady our best. Hip surgery is never fun.. but she can take solace in that she gets a bell to ring and her Beau will come running to nurse her through the recovery...
 
Apr 7, 2016
184
Beneteau First 305 Seward, Alaska
Give your lady our best. Hip surgery is never fun.. but she can take solace in that she gets a bell to ring and her Beau will come running to nurse her through the recovery...
Exactly what I’m afraid of... had congenital issues since birth. We planned the surgery so she could be boat ready by May. We will see how it goes
 
Sep 30, 2008
1,430
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
Exactly what I’m afraid of... had congenital issues since birth. We planned the surgery so she could be boat ready by May. We will see how it goes
Even sitting on the boat at the dock could be therapeutic.
 
Apr 7, 2016
184
Beneteau First 305 Seward, Alaska
Even sitting on the boat at the dock could be therapeutic.
True, but getting onto the boat will be an issue for a few months. I’m not worried about summer sailing though. I mostly “solo” with some emotional/anchoring support though. What I’ll miss is the long weekends where we crank up the diesel heater and chill in the harbor. Wifey says thanks for the well wishes.
 
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Likes: Tom J
Apr 8, 2011
128
Hunter 36 Intrepid Deale, MD
So I've recently read a lot on MaineSail's excellent site, and here on forums as well, but am having trouble finding a definitive answer to a relatively simple question. I was hoping someone here might be able to help.

I'm installing a 160 watt Renogy solar panel (only panel in system). I'm wiring that to a Victron 100/20 MPPT controller (with fuse), and then the controller negative to the load side of the shunt (installed previously with the Victron battery monitor).

My question is regarding where the positive lead coming from the controller should be connected in order to charge my two battery house bank from the solar panel (no starter battery).

The house bank is two AGMs wired in parallel to a 1/2/B switch, with each battery capable of being isolated, or combined together. I only run them combined (the battery monitor would be less than useful otherwise), and turn them off when leaving the boat.

I presume the positive lead from the controller should go through a fuse to the positive terminal of a battery. But I want to be sure that BOTH batteries receive a charge from the controller whether the switch is on BOTH, or OFF. So is connecting the controller to one positive battery terminal sufficient? Or do I also need to connect the positive terminal of both batteries to ensure charging to both when the switch is in the OFF position? My shore power charger does charge both with the switch in the OFF position.

Appreciate your thoughts. I'm in the process of getting smarter on boat electrical systems and find these forums incredibly helpful.
 
May 20, 2016
2,821
Catalina 36 MK1 Everett, WA
First a fuse is only required at the battery end of things. The solar panel end is self limiting.

The positive should go to the house or biggest battery bank(along with alternator, & charger). Get an ACR to charge the other bank.
 
May 17, 2004
2,011
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
I concur with Leslie on the fuse.

For how to hook up the charger - there's not a great way to do that if you want to be able to turn the 1-2-B switch to Off and still charge. If you connect the charger to both positive terminals then you don't have a way to separate the two batteries at all. Best options would be either connecting to one battery and using an ACR to charge the other, or adding a second on/off switch between the 1-2-B and your house loads, and use that switch when you leave. That would allow you to connect the charger to either battery terminal and have it charge both batteries whenever you have the selector on both.
 

Maine Sail

Moderator
Feb 6, 1998
11,039
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
The house bank is two AGMs wired in parallel to a 1/2/B switch, with each battery capable of being isolated, or combined together.
This is not a parallel wired house bank it is a parallel bank only when the switch is set for that.

I only run them combined (the battery monitor would be less than useful otherwise), and turn them off when leaving the boat.
Hard-wire the bank together in contiguous parallel with the neg loads/charge taken off one battery and positive loads/charge off the other battery. You now have a 1/2/BOTH that simply acts as an ON/OFF. There are really no positive benefits to the wiring configuration you have now in relation to it being a house bank.

The fuse for the controller goes within 7" of the house banks positive terminal.
 
Jun 11, 2004
837
Oday 31 Redondo Beach
This is not a parallel wired house bank it is a parallel bank only when the switch is set for that.



Hard-wire the bank together in contiguous parallel with the neg loads/charge taken off one battery and positive loads/charge off the other battery. You now have a 1/2/BOTH that simply acts as an ON/OFF. There are really no positive benefits to the wiring configuration you have now in relation to it being a house bank.

The fuse for the controller goes within 7" of the house banks positive terminal.
Is there no benefit to being able to easily isolate one of the batteries in the event one of them goes bad such as with an internal short?
 

Maine Sail

Moderator
Feb 6, 1998
11,039
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
Is there no benefit to being able to easily isolate one of the batteries in the event one of them goes bad such as with an internal short?
That is what a 1/2" or 9/16" "stubby" wrench can be used for. By the time you've figured out which battery is the problem you could have taken the neg off one battery and fully isolated it.

The benefits of flipping a switch to isolate, for the small chance of an internal short, are far outweighed over the life of the batteries by contiguously wiring them as one large bank.

Also remember that when you leave the boat, and turn the switch OFF, which battery is powering the phantom loads such as the bilge pumps etc.? Now your Ah counter is even more out of whack when you flip the switch back on.
 
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Likes: Richard19068
Oct 22, 2014
10,404
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Richard. The 1/2/B switch is not the best practice for a 2 battery system to do this. It is better to disconnect the bad battery and leave the good battery in the system, based on current best practices.
 
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Likes: Richard19068
Apr 8, 2011
128
Hunter 36 Intrepid Deale, MD
This is not a parallel wired house bank it is a parallel bank only when the switch is set for that.



Hard-wire the bank together in contiguous parallel with the neg loads/charge taken off one battery and positive loads/charge off the other battery. You now have a 1/2/BOTH that simply acts as an ON/OFF. There are really no positive benefits to the wiring configuration you have now in relation to it being a house bank.

The fuse for the controller goes within 7" of the house banks positive terminal.
Thanks MaineSail. That's how I'll set it up.
 
Jan 11, 2014
4,269
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
When I purchased my boat, the PO had some convoluted battery set up with 4 GC batteries and a start battery not connected (as far as I could tell) to any charging source. I used the 1-2-b switch to parallel the batteries and learned that it is not the best way to run 2 bank when I found 2 dead batteries one spring and accelerated my electrical system upgrade.

The way you have your batteries configured is similar to the way mine were configured.