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Old 20-05-2013, 16:34   #31
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Wow! Just...wow.

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.

So, electrical 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!

Tim
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Old 20-05-2013, 17:15   #32
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Re: Battery Charging Questions...

Tim,

Boats are so much fun!!! (keep repeating that to yourself!)

You are going to be just fine with your plan. Maybe consider bringing along a fully charged new Walmart battery as a fall back. Wouldn't cost much and you could probably use it in your car later (I don't know if you are aware of this, but once you decide to restore a boat, all your other non-boat gear decides to break down too - jealousy, I guess).

The Morgan 35 from that era is a pretty boat. Have fun on your delivery and refit. Refits tend to get you down at times, but just remember the highs to come.

And don't forget to ask questions here so all of us can give you contradicting and confusing advice! We wouldn't know what to do with ourselves without people like you...

Mark
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Old 20-05-2013, 17:26   #33
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Re: Battery Charging Questions...

Hi Tim! I see a lot of wiring spaghetti in your pictures; not a good idea to have it like that. You need to make nice harness', then wrap them together with plastic ties. Label each wiring from beginning to end. Use a black marker on white plastic tape, if you can; at least two labels on each wire. Take care! Mauritz
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Old 21-05-2013, 08:57   #34
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Mark,

Thanks for the encouragement, it's as important to me as good advice!



Mauritz,

No doubt on the rats nest of wires, it's really messing with my feng shui! I'm like you, I want visual confirmation with labels of where everything is going.
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Old 21-05-2013, 09:00   #35
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Re: Battery Charging Questions...

Doesn't look like those batteries are tied down at all--I wouldn't go far with them loose like that.
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Old 21-05-2013, 09:26   #36
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No, they're not. Good eye. I'll fix that, thanks.
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