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Old 22-09-2005, 03:32   #1
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SSB Marine Radio Operation ~ by the Cruising Club of America
A free downloadable (PDF format) guide to marine SSB operation. Subjects include: Assistance & Emergencies, Weather, NAVTEX, Ship to Aircraft, Ship to Shore, WLO, e-mail, SSB & Ham Nets, etc.
Offshore Communications Memorandum (updated 3-8-2004)
Appendix to the Offshore Communications Memorandum (updated 3-9-2004)
GPS - Range and Bearing Verification
Using the Icom M700PRO SSB (updated 9-16-2005)
Using the Icom M710-M710RT SSB Radios (updated 9-16-2004)
Emergency Card and Info for the ICOM M710 & M710RT (updated 9-16-2005)
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SSB Transmissions, Connections and Grounds (updated 10-5-2004)
Alert - USCG SSB Watchkeeping Change (updated 8-3-2005)

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Articles, Information, Technical Drawings and Brochures ~ from Farallon Electronics


SSB / HF Radio Applications in Modern Sailing Vessels
This article covers all of the basics of SSB/HF Radio and provides a wealth of general information regarding SSB operation, installation, and materials selection. It provides the reader with a good understanding of how to get the most out of SSB/HF communications. 11 pages, 987k in PDF. Updated 3/03.

RF Interference
A detailed description of how to identify and cure radio frequency interference problems in SSB / HF radio installations particularly focused on HF data modems like the SCS PTC-II. 3 pages, 108k in PDF.

Offshore Electrical Systems ~ Design considerations for a quality offshore electrical system.
This article covers some basic theory and rules of marine electrical systems and battery operation. 11k in plain text.

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Old 22-09-2005, 18:45   #2
Kai Nui

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This site seems to support the 25% charge rate mentioned in the earler thread, but the following is from
Battery Charging Voltages and Currents:
Most flooded batteries should be charged at no more than the "C/8" rate for any sustained period. "C/8" is the battery capacity at the 20-hour rate divided by 8. For a 220 AH battery, this would equal 26 Amps. Gelled cells should be charged at no more than the C/20 rate, or 5% of their amp-hour capacity. The Concorde AGM batteries are a special case - the can be charged at up the the Cx4 rate, or 400% of the capacity for the bulk charge cycle. However, since very few battery cables can take that much current, we don't recommend you try this at home. To avoid cable overheating, you should stick to C/4 or less.

Charging at 15.5 volts will give you a 100% charge on Lead-Acid batteries. Once the charging voltage reaches 2.583 volts per cell, charging should stop or be reduced to a trickle charge. Note that flooded batteries MUST bubble (gas) somewhat to insure a full charge, and to mix the electrolyte. Float voltage for Lead-Acid batteries should be about 2.15 to 2.23 volts per cell, or about 12.9-13.4 volts for a 12 volt battery. At higher temperatures (over 85 degrees F) this should be reduced to about 2.10 volts per cell

If I recall, the charge rate question used to be asked on the HAM General Class Exam. It was also listed in the ARRL handbook.

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Old 23-09-2005, 10:33   #3
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Wrong thread?

Kai Nui,
This topic is addressed in other threads. I reiterate that the correct answer as to just how fast one should charge deep-discharge lead-acid batteries (designed for cruising applications which infers sufficiently large cell interconnects as opposed to the small ones used for example in emergency lighting systems in buildings) is expressed by the Amp-hour law. This "law" states that a lead-acid battery can be charged at a current equal to the quantity of Amp-hours depleated from the battery without excessive gassing or temperature.

This "law" comes from one of the "ruling" textbooks on battery electrochemistry. The reason that you have not seen this information disseminated widely is because no one has commercial equipment available to perform this automatically. First of all, it takes a proper battery monitor to be the basis for the control. Again, gelled-cells and absorbed-glass-mat lead-acid batteries fall under the same category in this regard.

I have done this charging many many times to all of these types of batteries with wonderful success and, in many cases, have brought all of these types back from the dead when they were discarded by others who thought that they were a lost cause.

BTW, the value 15.5 V for a charging voltage is not a good value to use. Just as the Amp-hour law implies that the safe charging current is ever-varying the correct compliance voltage is also. I have noticed, for example, that in the electrolyte starting temperature in the range of 65 to 75 deg. F 15.5V would cause excessive current in a battery in good condition and exhibiting good charge acceptance (although 15.5V COULD be applied for short periods without damage, again here we are talking about a charge regimen, not a short deviation which all these batteries will tolerate for awhile without damage).

Voltages in the range of 15.5 V to almost 17 V may be applied to fully charged batteries in order to equalize them using constant-current sources (the proper manner to equalize batteries). Now no one that you know has such sources, I'll guess, and we all know that one can approximate giving a proper equalization charge using voltage soucres (like modes offered by inverter/chargers) and limiting the charge voltage to 15.5 Volts instead of allowing wild currents to flow with higher voltages not having current limit capability.

The reasons that "the industry" has such disparate recommendations is manifold: the sales outlets must limit their liability for warranty expenditures, most users do not have proper battery monitors, most users do not have proper charging sources, very little rigerous technical information resides within the industry outside of the electrochemists themselves residing within halls of the big three manufacturers and that which is promulgated is done so as "rules of thumb" not based in rigorous science. In addition, there is a great wealth of myth within the cruising community regarding many aspects of technology having only some basis in fact which makes such information difficult to dispell.
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Old 23-09-2005, 19:17   #4
Kai Nui

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Rick, it came to mind because I read the content of one of the links that GORD posted.
As for the content of my response, take it up with the author, I just cut and pasted for reference. Thought a few people might want to see what the pros say.
I do not disagree with you, I just feel we have a different approach, and I admit mine is more bailing wire and duct tape. If I were sailing in clean room, I would stand up and shout the virtues of your stats.
Again, this was meant to be informative not fod for debate. If you wish to discredit the information I posted, go for it. It is not mine, so I am not offended.
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