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Old 17-07-2009, 20:31   #106
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Hi...

Well, I did it. 8 new Fullriver Group 31 batteries... 560 pounds transferred off the beach by dinghy today, with an equivalent mass of old ones removed. I'm exhausted.
Cheers and thanks for any comments,
Steve
I don't think I'm the guy to help you with the technical stuff but can you say where you ended up getting them.
Also, when you get them up and running, it would be interesting to know what you think of them. Unfortunately it may be some time before I'm up and running (toooo busy).

Good Luck,
Extemp.
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Old 17-07-2009, 20:37   #107
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But a bigger issue... some of the old ones (West Marine AGM) are bulged at the ends, which says "overcharging" to me... sometime in the past 8 years, since that's the age of the batteries. But what worries me is the ancient original-equipment alternator (starts with L - forgot the name). Hopefully, there's a regulator down there somewhere, but I have no documentation on it. Clearly, it would need setpoints for AGM, not flood.

I'm an electronics geek, but not an engine guy; the interface is a mystery zone. Other than watching for excessive battery voltage while motoring, is there anything I can to to make sure that this massive investment in batteries will return dividends for a good long time?

At the electronics end, I'll be swapping out the Prosine for the new Outback FX2012, but engine-charging is a big unknown.
Sounds to me like your old ones were overcharged also. Maybe the alternator is a Leece-Neville? If so it's a good alternator but you need an alternator voltage regulator to protect the batteries.... there must be one in your setup, but you want to make sure it can be set for AGMs.
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Old 17-07-2009, 20:51   #108
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Sounds to me like your old ones were overcharged also. Maybe the alternator is a Leece-Neville? If so it's a good alternator but you need an alternator voltage regulator to protect the batteries.... there must be one in your setup, but you want to make sure it can be set for AGMs.
Hmmm, that's not the name - I'll post when I get back to the boat tonight. It's 130 amps, and appears to have been new with the engine in 1987.
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I don't think I'm the guy to help you with the technical stuff but can you say where you ended up getting them.
Pacific Power Batteries in Everett.

Cheers!
Steve
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Old 17-07-2009, 21:36   #109
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If it isn't a Leece-Neville, one can only pray it isn't a Lucas.

The charging voltages, set points, a clear diagram of what is in there and how it is set up, should not be considered optional. Some AGMs are built to use the same voltages as wet cells, others are not. Gel cells typically would run at lower voltages and nothing else would like their profile.
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Old 17-07-2009, 23:24   #110
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It is a Lestek. But the good news (*smiting self on forehead for not noticing it before*) is that there is a Balmar ARS-4 multi-stage regulator aboard, looking quite new. It is set to AGM and blinks quite logically... so maybe the bulging old batteries are the result of whatever induced the PO to install the Balmar.

There was essentially NO documentation with the boat except a pile of manuals. Another lesson learned... I have spent hours chasing wiring and plumbing to figure out what the &#$% is going on.

I'll report any interesting news...
Steve
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Old 18-07-2009, 05:41   #111
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as a marine service tech for more years than I care to count, I have found the same issues that Bruadair encountered many times. For the cost of these batteries it just does not seem worth it on a cruising boat. You can replace the wet cell batteries for less money and get more years use for the same dollars with replacements. Plus eliminate some extra weight.
Ditto to Chuck & Brudair in regards to Lifeline..
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Old 18-07-2009, 08:10   #112
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LesTek...

I hope that was from some guy with no marketing skills named Lester, because "Less Tech" doesn't sound like what I'd want in a modern charging system. (VBG)
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Old 19-07-2009, 01:34   #113
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One more question... today was completely crazy (blog post coming on this one - nearly lost the boat on a lee shore when the windlass clutch failed and 300 feet of chain ran out at full speed in 30 knots... but that's another story).

The new batteries are in and holding charge well... but I'm really scratching my head over a curious phenomenon. My boat has both a Link 10 stand-alone battery monitor and the ProSine 2.0 that is about to be replaced.

Whatever I was doing today, the polarities of the two current displays were opposite, with the Link being correct. I keep staring at the wiring and have not detected any oopsies... but something changed when I swapped banks so I can't ignore the correlation. Is there any known phenomenon in the ProSine that would explain this?

I have not used it to charge yet, but it ran the inverter just fine. Today's inaugural charge of the new bank was from the Yanmar's "Less Tech" via the Balmar regulator. I'm a little afraid to apply shore power until this is figured out.

Cheers and thanks from the tail end of a very windy day. Docking in 30 knots is not something I'd care to repeat!

Steve
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Old 19-07-2009, 04:57   #114
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... nearly lost the boat on a lee shore when the windlass clutch failed and 300 feet of chain ran out at full speed in 30 knots... but that's another story)...
Chain stopper?
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Old 19-07-2009, 08:19   #115
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Steve, an optimist would say you've just got one of the current sensors (or the leads to it) wired up backwards. A pessimist would say "Stand back she's gonna blow!"

I think I'd disconnect the one that's "backwards" until the reason why became clearer.
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Old 19-07-2009, 09:32   #116
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Chain stopper?
Yes... I think that would be lovely. *sigh* On the list!
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Old 19-07-2009, 09:35   #117
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Hellosailor - that was my first thought... it behaves as if there is a shunt wired backwards. Except... no external shunt. The only connections to the Prosine are the AC in and out, battery + and -, and the temperature sensor.

The bank takes a charge and delivers power when needed (like the epic windlass exercise), and all worked well on the crossing. The Link, which is independent, reports logical behavior. But the Prosine is convinced that incoming power is outgoing power. Maketh no sense. Maybe after coffee.........

Steve
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Old 19-07-2009, 10:41   #118
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Chain stopper?
Gord.... is there a chain stopper that will actually stop chain that is running out fast... safely?
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Old 19-07-2009, 11:53   #119
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I'd sure love such a thing. The chain runout was terrifying yesterday - the Lighthouse 1501 could not snub it, and my leather gloves were useless. All 300 feet in seconds, while we fast dropped toward a VERY close lee shore and a dozen or so moored little-boats. I ended up having to use a chain hook to grab and hold it each time I managed to pull a bit in, with my mate at the helm trying to keep bow to wind without wrapping up other moorings during the inevitable circles. Very close call.

Last night a boat anchored upwind of the breakwater dragged, and someone actually had the presence of mind (and courage) to leap aboard, deploy fenders, and tie it to the entrance piling. Pounded all night and had some damage, but didn't end up on the bricks.

Back to AGM and such - I just got brave and applied shore power; charging looks normal with logical display. It seems to only be confused when the power transfer is not under its control (other loads, other charge sources). About to be replaced anyway; just want to be über-careful with the $new$ battery bank.

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Old 19-07-2009, 13:04   #120
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Gord.... is there a chain stopper that will actually stop chain that is running out fast... safely?
A properly deployed chain stopper should prevent any run-out; but I expect they should be able to stop a running chain (properly bolted & backed).
I suppose it could be problematic, if undersized.
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