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Old 09-02-2018, 11:30   #16
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Re: One alternator, solar panels, and 2 banks

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So.....anyone got a good wiring diagram ? Lol. Any advice is appreciated.
Sure, noodle around in here, includes Maine Sail's stuff and more:

Electrical Systems 101 Electrical Systems 101
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Old 09-02-2018, 11:42   #17
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Re: One alternator, solar panels, and 2 banks

I like the echo charger (or similar) idea. Yeah you SHOULDN'T forget to switch from "all", but you may. (Long day on a grocery run, a hairy passage, a few too many rums visiting your neighbor etc.) It happens. KISS is good though. I like a simple voltmeter with on-off-on momentary switch to check voltage condition of both banks.
The $60 Yandina worked fine for me. It's rated 100 amps or 75 continuous. I see complaints about the Blue Sea Echo sometimes. https://www.defender.com/product3.js...9976&id=605576
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Old 09-02-2018, 11:46   #18
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Re: One alternator, solar panels, and 2 banks

Is an echo charger the same thing as an ACR?
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Old 09-02-2018, 11:49   #19
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Re: One alternator, solar panels, and 2 banks

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Is an echo charger the same thing as an ACR?
"automatic charging relay" I think so, but there may be differences in brands.
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Old 09-02-2018, 11:57   #20
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Re: One alternator, solar panels, and 2 banks

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Is an echo charger the same thing as an ACR?
Yeah I'm not 100% sure either. They both sound like they do the same thing. Maybe one of the electrical guru's will chime in on any differences for us ?

Essentially, what I want to have is the ability to leave my battery switch on "1" - or the house bank - while I'm cruising, and know that there is a charged battery waiting to start my engine in the event that I somehow do not catch the house bank getting too low to do the job. That's it in a nutshell.

So I will have a good house bank, with a good alternator setup along with my good solar panels, and I will have a group 24 starter battery on standby in case I have a brain fart, or get otherwise distracted. Crank the engine, switch to "All" and charge everything up, shut off the engine and back to "1" position.

Sgood !
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Old 09-02-2018, 12:00   #21
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Re: One alternator, solar panels, and 2 banks

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Yeah I'm not 100% sure either. They both sound like they do the same thing. Maybe one of the electrical guru's will chime in on any differences for us ?

Essentially, what I want to have is the ability to leave my battery switch on "1" - or the house bank - while I'm cruising, and know that there is a charged battery waiting to start my engine in the event that I somehow do not catch the house bank getting too low to do the job. That's it in a nutshell.

So I will have a good house bank, with a good alternator setup along with my good solar panels, and I will have a group 24 starter battery on standby in case I have a brain fart, or get otherwise distracted. Crank the engine, switch to "All" and charge everything up, shut off the engine and back to "1" position.

Sgood !
Yeah, the Yandina noted above worked fine for me on a powerboat for that purpose.
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Old 09-02-2018, 12:18   #22
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Re: One alternator, solar panels, and 2 banks

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Originally Posted by OldManMirage View Post
Yeah I'm not 100% sure either. They both sound like they do the same thing. Maybe one of the electrical guru's will chime in on any differences for us ?

Essentially, what I want to have is the ability to leave my battery switch on "1" - or the house bank - while I'm cruising, and know that there is a charged battery waiting to start my engine in the event that I somehow do not catch the house bank getting too low to do the job. That's it in a nutshell.

So I will have a good house bank, with a good alternator setup along with my good solar panels, and I will have a group 24 starter battery on standby in case I have a brain fart, or get otherwise distracted. Crank the engine, switch to "All" and charge everything up, shut off the engine and back to "1" position.

Sgood !
Yes, they seem to do the same thing, which is why Im curious as to the different nomenclature. Sure hope its not some silly proprietary thing going on.

Your plan sounds good to me. I think I mentioned that this is what I did with a previous boat, except I used a Bluesea ACR to link the house bank to the starter bank. This is why I want to clarify that a echo charger and an ACR are the same thing.

If I was rewiring my current boat Id probably do the same as you (again). But Ive lived with my current 1-2-BOTH switch system now for seven years with zero problems. It just becomes standard practice to switch appropriately, like so many other things you do on a sailboat.
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Old 09-02-2018, 12:31   #23
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Re: One alternator, solar panels, and 2 banks

Right on OReilly !

I mentioned in another thread I'm just a touch OCD. Some folks say I'm anal. But I just like to have things right. Lets say I like things symmetrical ! Yeah that's a good one.

But I really like the idea of having that battery in reserve. I picture myself coming into a port somewhere after a long grueling passage, fighting a killer current in a narrow pass, and needing the engine right then. Of course, having a good battery doesn't mean anything if the starter dies ! LOL:
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Old 09-02-2018, 13:09   #24
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Re: One alternator, solar panels, and 2 banks

If you have all of your charging go to your house bank. Your start battery is only wired to your starter, what happens when your house bank goes dead/bad? If you have your ACR wired between house and start battery, how would your start battery get charged if your house bank is bad? How would you be able to utilize your start battery for emergency house use? I am trying to think of this in terms of only using your 1/2/all battery switch? What am I missing? The ACR does seem to be foolproof as far as not having to worry about forgetting anything, but I too have always liked the main switch to be turned to All when running the motor then switch to 1 when I arrive at a destination. I just leave the switch to All even if I shut the motor down in route to my destination when I am sailing. For coastal cruising a typical day is likely to be 1 hour of motoring leaving a harbor, maybe 3 hours sailing (if I m lucky), then 1 hour of motoring when entering a harbor
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Old 09-02-2018, 14:06   #25
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Re: One alternator, solar panels, and 2 banks

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Originally Posted by OldManMirage View Post
Essentially, what I want to have is the ability to leave my battery switch on "1" - or the house bank - while I'm cruising, and know that there is a charged battery waiting to start my engine in the event that I somehow do not catch the house bank getting too low to do the job. That's it in a nutshell.
That's pretty much how my boat is currently set up ... I have one of these:
https://www.bluesea.com/products/760...ryLink_Charger
It's a combined battery-charger/ACR. I run the solar charger to battery-1. House, start and alternator use whichever battery the 1-2-both switch is switched to. Some days I use battery-1, and some days I use battery-2 (both are the same). Since I only draw from one battery at a time, the ACR makes sure that there should always be a full battery waiting for me if I need it.
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Old 09-02-2018, 14:13   #26
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Re: One alternator, solar panels, and 2 banks

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Is an echo charger the same thing as an ACR?
No, not the same thing. An echo charger is a DC-to-DC converter with an output current limit, typically 15 or 20 amps. That's what allows you to use smaller cable for the run to a distant battery and potentially set a different charging voltage for that battery. An ACR (Automatic Combining Relay) connects the output (remote) battery to the input battery when the input battery's voltage reaches a level that is considered 'fully charged'. There is no current limit, so the remote battery can charge faster but the cables have to be big enough for maximum charging current.
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Old 09-02-2018, 14:40   #27
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Re: One alternator, solar panels, and 2 banks

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No, not the same thing. An echo charger is a DC-to-DC converter with an output current limit, typically 15 or 20 amps. That's what allows you to use smaller cable for the run to a distant battery and potentially set a different charging voltage for that battery. An ACR (Automatic Combining Relay) connects the output (remote) battery to the input battery when the input battery's voltage reaches a level that is considered 'fully charged'. There is no current limit, so the remote battery can charge faster but the cables have to be big enough for maximum charging current.
Thanks pjShap, this is very helpful. So the echo charger controls or limits current flow between the two batteries, whereas the ACR just combines the two batteries, allowing as much current as physically possible?

Does the echo charger also use a voltage level on the input battery as the parameter to start charging of the remote battery, just like an ACR?

One issue I did have with my previous ACR setup is that the input battery would hit the full voltage, then open up the gate to the remote bank. This often would result in a voltage drop on the input battery, so the ACR would close. The voltage would then build again on the input battery until hitting the defined voltage level, which would again connect the two batteries via the the ACR, and so on, and so on. Sometimes if the remote battery was a lot lower than the input battery, this on/off dance would go on for a number of cycles, and could happen quite quickly at first.

If I understand all this correctly, an echo charger would manage this dance better by limiting the charging current between the input battery and the remote.

Hmmmm I think Ill just stick with my manual 3-way-switch for now .
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Old 09-02-2018, 16:21   #28
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Re: One alternator, solar panels, and 2 banks

I'm not sure if anyone is still on this thread but here goes an example of my own confusion: I want to bump my house up to two, two battery banks, and charge the starter battery with a dc-dc charger. I want to put the battery temperature control from my external regulator on a house battery but if I am running with a 1-2-all switch which batteries to I put the thermo control on? Same problem as I am planning to add solar later this year and will probably need to put a temperature device on the batteries for the charge controller. Where do I put the thermal sensors on which batteries, or do I gang the sensors from the two sets?
My head is hurting on this stuff.
All suggestions appreciated, experience even better!!
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Old 09-02-2018, 16:31   #29
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Re: One alternator, solar panels, and 2 banks

Reply to a couple of posts.

If my starting is charged by an EchoCharger (which it sounds like that's what I really want) if my house bank dies through in-attention or whatever - all I have to do is turn my battery switch to the "2" position which is my starting battery and crank up.

Normal position will be "1"
So when my engine is running or my solar panels putting out good voltage, the starting will stay topped up. Obviously you want to check this on a regular basis either through a voltmeter on a panel or better yet by actually using it to crank the engine now and then.

I think its already been discussed that you don't really want to combine a dead battery with a good one. So a true ACR is not really what I want. The echocharger will do the job for me.

Leave the battery switch on "1" - starting battery stays charged but not used unless needed. Your starter is actually wired to the battery switch if I am correct. If I'm not somebody please set me straight.
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Old 09-02-2018, 16:44   #30
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Re: One alternator, solar panels, and 2 banks

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Of course, having a good battery doesn't mean anything if the starter dies ! LOL:
Wait a minute. You've got two or three batteries that you can start from, but you've only got ONE STARTER?

Isn't that, you know, kinda cheaping out and being awful casual about equipment? Most of us have dual starters installed in the engine, for the same reason most small private aircraft have dual magnetos.

You've really only got one starter? You're not kidding about that?
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