Btw, OP here...
I really appreciate all the help. Even though there seems to be a little bit of disagreement over the principles, I can tell that everybody is passionate about getting me the right information. I even had to go back and re-read my initial post myself!
Here's a little more info on the situation. Gosh, I hope you guys aren't mad when you find out how dinky the situation really is after all your hard work!
It's a new-to-us boat. That's as far as the new goes. It has two battery
banks, 2 batteries per bank. Nothing electrical
works in the current
state of the 12 volt system. No way am I plugging in the shore power
until everything gets replaced, and I am replacing EVERYTHING. I have gotten the bilge pump
to work, the depth sounder
to work, the GPS
to work, and the VHF
to power on, all by connecting them to a battery
bank individually with a jumper.
The batteries are charged right now (I assume) by two solar panels
. My assumption is based on the fact that, A) there is a little green led lit on a small gray box that is wired into the jumbled mess that is the 12v panel, and B) the batteries aren't dead when I feel they probably ought to be. The voltage I measure on the battery bank I've been using is in the 12.5 volt range.
The boat is a 75 nm sail from home, and we are bringing her home in a week. My intention was to top the batteries off with a trickle charger
so I would have enough juice for the trip, mainly to run the depth sounder
and the bilge pump
. My concern about the solar panels
was possibly sending current
the wrong way and damaging the charging
circuit somehow, or worse, starting a fire. I know nothing about solar panels
, other than mine are square and heavy.
theory aside, am I likely to break anything by using the trickle charger
? It would seem from the body of evidence that the answer would be no.
Whew! I apologize for the interruption in the thread, carry on!