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Old 18-09-2010, 15:05   #1
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Balmar Spike Protector

Added a 12v starting battery to my 6v golf cart batteris. I would like to start the boat on the starting battery and then turn the Battery selector switch to all after the engine starts. Will the Balmar spike protector allow me to do this or is it just an emergency protector for covering for mistakes like turning off the key before shutting the engine down or switching the battery switch by mistake?
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Old 18-09-2010, 16:25   #2
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Geeetrings and welcome aboard the CF, Ron.

You don’t even need a “Zap-Stop” or “Spike-Protector”, as long as your battery selector switch is the standard “Make before Break” type.
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Old 18-09-2010, 16:35   #3
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Thanks for the reply, I am not sure what " Make before Break" type means. Is that written on the box? And would that be a Blue Seas product?
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Old 19-09-2010, 10:37   #4
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A pair of switch contacts is said to be "closed" or (make or on) when current can flow from one to the other. When the contacts are separated by an insulating air gap, they are said to be "open" (break or off), and no current can flow between them at normal voltages.
On a “Make Before Break” battery selector switch, the contacts close between the Common and Position 2, before they open between common & Position 1. The circuit is not switched off (open) during transfer between Battery 1 & Batt 2; which allows switching between battery banks without interruption (which would damage the alternator).

As far as I know, all Blue Sea Systems battery switches are of the Make Before Break (MbB) Type.
http://www.blueheronmarine.com/files...9_Switches.pdf

Perco & Cole Hersey also have MbB battery switches.
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Old 19-09-2010, 11:12   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Laking View Post
Added a 12v starting battery to my 6v golf cart batteris. I would like to start the boat on the starting battery and then turn the Battery selector switch to all after the engine starts. Will the Balmar spike protector allow me to do this or is it just an emergency protector for covering for mistakes like turning off the key before shutting the engine down or switching the battery switch by mistake?
Ron,

With just two 6V batts I will assume you have a smalish diesel, under 50hp. You can save yourself a step and just start on the house bank, it is easier and has much less potential for human error. If you add either a voltage sensitive relay, like the Blue Seas ACR or a Xantrex Echo Charger you will charge both banks automatically and only ever have to turn the battery switch to OFF and HOUSE. Think of your 12V start battery as a "reserve bank". By adding a behind the scenes aux bank combiner or digital charger you really simplify things. One fried alternator will eclipse the cost of an Echo Charger or a Blue Seas ACR. My buddy Mike repairs about 60-90 alts a year fried by disconnecting the load/passing through OFF. He's repaired one customers alt four times for the same problem.


If you are maintaining your batteries correctly, not drawing them below 50% depth of discharge, then they should start your motor just fine. I used to start the huge Cummins on my downeaster with a bank of 6V golf cart batts. Been starting on house batteries for well over 20 years and never once not been able to fire up the engine.

The Zap stop only protects you from switching through the OFF position or when switching while using an old break before make switch. Alternatively you can wire the alt directly to the house bank then let the ACR or Echo charger do its job of charging the reserve or start bank. If you do this you never disconnect from the load no matter what you do with the battery switch. I generally install a switch in the alt line in-case you need to work on it or need to disconnect it. I also fuse it at the bank.
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Old 20-09-2010, 07:35   #6
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I thank you guys for your replys, To bring my so called problem up to date I have two banks of 6v batterys giving me about 450 amp. hrs. and have started my Yanmar 30GMF for over 10 years, I want to use my Espar furnace for cooler nights so I added a starting battery. So house bank is set up on #1 and the starting battery on #2 so I want to use the furnace, fridge, ect, and then switch to #2 to start and after starting then to all so everything will charge back up. I have a 3 stage regulator & house bank monitor on my Inverter so I have a good idea of the batteries state of charge. Thanks again.
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Old 20-09-2010, 08:06   #7
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If you have an external regulator which senses the house bank voltage, the zap stop will not protect the alternator.

If you have a system which requires you to switch batteries everytime you start the engine, you are looking for trouble. If you want to use the starting battery to start the engine, use a seperate starting circuit, with a switch to combine the house battery if the start battery fails. Take a look at the Blue Sky 5511e and the West Marine advisor on 'creating a reliable battery system'.
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Old 20-09-2010, 08:18   #8
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Originally Posted by Ron Laking View Post
I thank you guys for your replys, To bring my so called problem up to date I have two banks of 6v batterys giving me about 450 amp. hrs. and have started my Yanmar 30GMF for over 10 years, I want to use my Espar furnace for cooler nights so I added a starting battery. So house bank is set up on #1 and the starting battery on #2 so I want to use the furnace, fridge, ect, and then switch to #2 to start and after starting then to all so everything will charge back up. I have a 3 stage regulator & house bank monitor on my Inverter so I have a good idea of the batteries state of charge. Thanks again.
Ron,

So long as you are not drawing that bank below 50% state of charge there should still be no reason for the need to switch to the start bank. If you are regularly depleting your bank below 50% SOC then you would get a longer life cycle by adding more capacity. If staying above that there really is no need to use the start battery unless it just makes you feel better. If your engine won't start at a 50% SOC then there may be something wrong with the batteries or the connections or the battery monitor is not recording things accurately. I once started my Cummins 220 with the bank of 6V batts at about 25% SOC without fuss.


Again, the start battery really should not need to be used for starting a 3GM if the bank is not dropping below 50% SOC. The "start" bank can be there as added insurance. You still need to switch to ALL to charge both banks and a simple ACR could eliminate the potential for any human error such as leaving it on ALL then killing both banks.

Any scenario will work it just comes down to which one you want to use. My problem with TSP (transient spike protectors) is that they often blow the first time you pass through off yet you don't really know it blew. The second time you pass through off they are inoperable and you fry the alt. Unless Balmar has changed the device I have seen them blow and the owner was unaware but still thinking they were protected. Most times an owner is unaware they passed through off or disconnected the load, if they were blown diodes would not happen. Wiring direct to the bank/load and using an ACR or Echo charger is more reliable diode protection than a TSP.
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Old 20-09-2010, 08:29   #9
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Put in a battery isolator between your alternator output and the battery banks and you can forget about using your switches .
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