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Old 10-09-2015, 21:06   #16
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Re: Building new Electrical system

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcmm View Post
I like the bus bar idea, makes the connections neater. I'll revive to include that.

Not a huge fan of using AGM mixed with deep cycle batteries as they have a different charging profile.

Next question: tie the windlass into the house bank or starter battery? I hear people talk about connecting to the start bank as the engine will typically be running when the windlass is in use. On the other hand there is more reserve power in the house bank.
My last post should have said 390 ah house bank, not 90.

House bank for windlass. Engine on, feeding house bank directly. What's not to like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by truckman
Do either of you advocate wiring the Windlass to the start battery?

Not me. Start batteries have lots of thin plates and are designed to deliver short bursts of power, 3-20 seconds. In deep water you can be running a windlass for upwards of three or four minutes on and off. Save your start battery and use the house bank.

Quote:
So I don't like 1-2 battery switches since it's possible to leave it set wrong and drain the start battery.
If one can run an entire sailboat, why can't people deal with this switch issue? It is so simple, yet so misunderstood. Do we hear a song coming on here?

If you run your AO to the house bank (#1) with a combiner/ec/ACR, then just put the switch on #1 and you're done. You can use any of the methods included in my links for the reserve/start bank.

The Duo Charge has its own issues and a combiner or echo charger is much simpler. From a post by Maine Sail on co.com: I would not even recommend a Duo charge because they will lock out at 30A usually will not self re-set.
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Old 10-09-2015, 21:50   #17
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Re: Building new Electrical system

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Originally Posted by pcmm View Post
I like the bus bar idea, makes the connections neater. I'll revive to include that.

Not a huge fan of using AGM mixed with deep cycle batteries as they have a different charging profile.

Next question: tie the windlass into the house bank or starter battery? I hear people talk about connecting to the start bank as the engine will typically be running when the windlass is in use. On the other hand there is more reserve power in the house bank.
when the engine is running and the acr is engaged all the batteries become a single bank anyways. so it doesn't really matter. whatever is shorter run.
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Old 11-09-2015, 04:01   #18
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Re: Building new Electrical system

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
....
If one can run an entire sailboat, why can't people deal with this switch issue? It is so simple, yet so misunderstood. Do we hear a song coming on here? ....
Aint that the truth
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Old 11-09-2015, 09:13   #19
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Re: Building new Electrical system

If you are replacing cables, I would suggest going up a gauge or two for all the wiring and check out Pacer Group - Marine Wire, Battery Cable and Electrical Parts

Pacer's connectors are superior to Ancor, they come with built in heat shrink, their wiring is also very high quality. Fine multistrand and tinned.

Ancor is just overpriced.

...no I don't work for Pacer, but I was lucky to find them when I was ripping out every wire on my 1973 Pearson 36-1. I am sure that I saved hundreds of dollars with no loss of quality.
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Old 11-09-2015, 09:21   #20
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Re: Building new Electrical system

From what I've read around the net, a BOTH switch is not usually a good idea if you're using it because the primary died. A dead bank will kill your good bank and leave you with nothing at all.

To this end, putting the alt output to the house can be an issue if the house bank dies. You will need a way to switch the alt output to the other bank and it may be hard if it is all bolted together in a tight space. I've seen (but can't remember where) a diagram where they used a couple of battery selectors (On/Off) to accomplish this. If I recall, it was B1 - S1 - LOAD - S2 - B2 (Battery - Switch) The ACR took care of keeping both batteries charged. A little more effort, and yes you have to be careful in selecting the batteries so you don't inadvertently put both to OFF before (or while) running the engine. I would suppose you could also use a dedicate 1-2 switch for the alt output as well.
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Old 11-09-2015, 09:48   #21
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Re: Building new Electrical system

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Originally Posted by OS2Dude View Post
I've seen (but can't remember where) a diagram
That would be in the links I provided on page one.
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Old 11-09-2015, 09:50   #22
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Re: Building new Electrical system

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Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
when the engine is running and the acr is engaged all the batteries become a single bank anyways. so it doesn't really matter. whatever is shorter run.
Not really. The house bank is larger and can handle more load. Even if the two banks are combined, the draw of the windlass takes a much higher percentage of capacity out of the start smaller bank, which then has to be replaced through the ACR.

Use the house bank.
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Old 11-09-2015, 10:15   #23
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Re: Building new Electrical system

I am getting in to the detail planning for "rip and replace" of my electrical system - all the big stuff - like you are.

Some thoughts:

1. Fuse all the wires coming from the main battery and/or main distribution bus, INCLUDING the wire going to the alternator. The wire to the alternator should be fused, not because the alternator might overload it, but because a short in the wire would short out the house bank. E.g. the alternator wire comes loose from the back of the alternator. All wires coming from the batteries should be fused.

2. Route the alternator to charge the house bank (per your second diagram) and use a "echo-charge" from Xantrex (or similar) to charge your start battery when the house bank is charging.

3. 1-2-All switches work but what happened in the "olden" days was that people used them to charge all their batteries and then forgot to switch to isolate the batteries after that. So you would end up not charging the batteries correctly anyway (since usually two different types of batteries) and/or drain the start battery along with the house battery so you can't start the motor. Can you do it - yes - it isn't rocket science, but people forget. Even smart people.

3. Use whatever diagramming method you like and have available. Just having a diagram at all will save you so much time in the future, let alone help you get everything right when you build the system.

4. I can't agree with not labeling wires. Label all wires. Lots of ways to do that. For big red battery cables you can use an indelible magic marker but real labels are nice. But they have to be oil and water resistant.

5. Don't use 1/0 or everything. It will be overkill and too heavy for some of the connections you will need to make. Vibration will loosen it quicker.

6. Do secure all wiring/cables to the boat the length of the wire runs, and especially where they terminate (within a few inches - ABYC has specs on that). And keep runs tidy and don't criss cross unnecessarily. It will only take a few extra minutes to make it tidy and it will pay real dividends in the future when you try to trace things and do troubleshooting (even with a diagram and labels). It is more than just cosmetic.

7. Run your windlass off of your house bank (and fuse of course).

Have fun and good luck. You will be so proud of your new wiring (even though your wallet will be significantly lighter) and you will have more confidence you will have juice when you need it.
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Old 11-09-2015, 10:33   #24
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Re: Building new Electrical system

I would replace the distribution panel with a new one from Bass, who will pre-install all back-lit legends and breaker sizes to your specification at no extra charge.
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Old 11-09-2015, 10:59   #25
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Re: Building new Electrical system

By the way, what are you using to draw your diagrams. Most of the ones I have tried I have found difficult to use.
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Old 11-09-2015, 11:12   #26
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Re: Building new Electrical system

I'm just using good old MSPaint! pretty simple to use and really quick. Doesn't have layers like other apps but its so quick you just cant beat it! every time I make a significant change I just do a save as with versioning added to the filename.
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Old 11-09-2015, 16:12   #27
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Re: Building new Electrical system

Since you'll likely be using your windlass only when your engine is running, I'd take the power for it from the starter battery..... provided you've used a deep cycle battery for starting.
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Old 11-09-2015, 17:07   #28
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Re: Building new Electrical system

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Originally Posted by Gamechanger View Post
Since you'll likely be using your windlass only when your engine is running, I'd take the power for it from the starter battery..... provided you've used a deep cycle battery for starting.
While true that it is likely, I would be more concerned about the day when you need the windlass and have no engine.

So in a risk assessment sense, I would take it from the house bank, that is what they are there for. The starting battery is there for starting.

Of course, this is no "right way" for everyone. That is one of the better parts of sailing, we still get to chose our own poison

And if you really need the extra oomph, select Both on the 1,2,B switch
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Old 11-09-2015, 17:15   #29
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Re: Building new Electrical system

Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
I am getting in to the detail planning for "rip and replace" of my electrical system - all the big stuff - like you are.

Some thoughts:

1. Fuse all the wires coming from the main battery and/or main distribution bus, INCLUDING the wire going to the alternator. The wire to the alternator should be fused, not because the alternator might overload it, but because a short in the wire would short out the house bank. E.g. the alternator wire comes loose from the back of the alternator. All wires coming from the batteries should be fused.

2. Route the alternator to charge the house bank (per your second diagram) and use a "echo-charge" from Xantrex (or similar) to charge your start battery when the house bank is charging.

3. 1-2-All switches work but what happened in the "olden" days was that people used them to charge all their batteries and then forgot to switch to isolate the batteries after that. So you would end up not charging the batteries correctly anyway (since usually two different types of batteries) and/or drain the start battery along with the house battery so you can't start the motor. Can you do it - yes - it isn't rocket science, but people forget. Even smart people.

3. Use whatever diagramming method you like and have available. Just having a diagram at all will save you so much time in the future, let alone help you get everything right when you build the system.

4. I can't agree with not labeling wires. Label all wires. Lots of ways to do that. For big red battery cables you can use an indelible magic marker but real labels are nice. But they have to be oil and water resistant.

5. Don't use 1/0 or everything. It will be overkill and too heavy for some of the connections you will need to make. Vibration will loosen it quicker.

6. Do secure all wiring/cables to the boat the length of the wire runs, and especially where they terminate (within a few inches - ABYC has specs on that). And keep runs tidy and don't criss cross unnecessarily. It will only take a few extra minutes to make it tidy and it will pay real dividends in the future when you try to trace things and do troubleshooting (even with a diagram and labels). It is more than just cosmetic.

7. Run your windlass off of your house bank (and fuse of course).

Have fun and good luck. You will be so proud of your new wiring (even though your wallet will be significantly lighter) and you will have more confidence you will have juice when you need it.
All good thoughts

As an aside on point 1, all wiring should be fused at (or near) the power source. Some mistakenly consider the alt to require fusing at the alt end as well as the battery end when (providing the wiring is suitable sized), it only needs fusing at the battery end.

I realise you (ex MD) know this, just posting for some other readers
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Old 13-09-2015, 04:22   #30
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Re: Building new Electrical system

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Originally Posted by Gamechanger View Post
Since you'll likely be using your windlass only when your engine is running, I'd take the power for it from the starter battery..... provided you've used a deep cycle battery for starting.
With all charge sources going to the house bank and the start battery charged by an Echo Charger, ACR, or similar device, the windlass should be powered from the house bank.

A start battery should be just that and not be used for any other purpose.
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