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Old 04-05-2006, 18:30   #31
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The Xantrex (Pathfinder?) is more complex than the West/Yandina. Did you ever find out what part of it failed?
Yes, the voltage cutout failed.
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Old 04-05-2006, 18:36   #32
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hellosailor, I agree. Guess I didn't state that argument very well...<g>
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Old 04-05-2006, 19:11   #33
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Interesting, Paul. The voltage cut-out would be the solid state side of the it, not the relay. The side that in theory would be more robust. Is your regular adjustable to compensate for the diode? Or did you just stick a matching one in the sense lead?
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Old 05-05-2006, 02:20   #34
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Hellosailor (great Kiwi band by the way) Diodes don't go weak. One that has leakage has been damaged and has failed. It just hasn't dead shorted. Providing the diode remains well within it's operating limits, it should out last anything. Diodes fail if they have been stressed by some other problem, like over voltage or over current, or being used in an application where they are not quite big enough to cope.
The only issue with a diode splitter is when a three stage charge controller is fitted tot he alternator. There is a forward voltage drop across the diode that mucks up the charge/voltage sensing of the charger controller.
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Old 05-05-2006, 07:13   #35
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Hellosailor,

The ct in voltage was an adjuable setting and it was fine but the cut out never really did work right. The theory is the soar panel held the voltage up even though the amps were very tiny. Might ahave been another reason too but the diode isolator actually works.

It's funny as Fred (the guy that helped me) told me he was working on a boat that had 12 isolators installed. There is small voltage drop associated with an isolator and with so many on the boat attempting t isolate everything from anything it was causing all sorts of problems. Fred said he ripped out about 300 feet of heavy gauge electrical cable and a pile of isolatrs so there was only one left. Everything suddenly worksd like it was supposed to.

My installation is now greatly simplified as well plus now all the switches do what they indicate, my regulator and charger and all the meters are recalibrated. Fred, didn't rip anything out just replaced the XAntrex PathMaker with the isolator and reconnected the cables to the switches and did the calibrations. The PathMaker was an older 70 amp single bank modle they don't make any more.

It's nice to have it all right again. Of all the things on the boat I seem to worry about the only things that ever get to the point of bothering me is the battery bank. Ever since we went on a 17 day trip when we first got the boat and had trouble starting the engine at the very last anchorage. We got back to the dock and a few days later we went to go out again and the entire 3 banks (2 per bank) of golf cart batteries could not turn over the engine. After that I replaced all the batteries and added a Link 10 monitor (great little gadget) and that PathMaker. Now it's finally back to being the way I like it.
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Old 05-05-2006, 07:43   #36
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Paul,

There is an excellent article with a pictorial in the Spring 06 BoatWorks (Sail) magazine that I believe describes your battery setup. Unless something blows, this should avoid the problems described above and gives the "third switch" to combine all batteries for starting, if necessary. Dodds uses a separate battery for his windlass. If this isn't done would you tie into the starter or house bank for a windlass, or maybe with the third paralleling switch it wouldn't make any difference.

Ellis
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Old 05-05-2006, 08:09   #37
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Ellis,

For a windlass I would always use the starting bank. Your windlass is sucking big amps fast. Using the ships alternator to supplement the battery keeps the power coming solid. You know when you get into that anchorage and things dont go quite right? You really do want the engine running when you pull the hook just so you don't go drifting away into a shallow. So from a safety point of view I would have the engine running. Simlarly, I always keep the engine running setting the anchor since I always back it down under full power just to be sure it is set.

A dedicated windlass battery I don't see as an advantage for much of anything. Was there any logic behind the idea? I suppose a lot of varied situations could come up. Unless you could locate the battery closer to both the windlass and the charging source using a dedicated battery (smaller cables). It has to be both for there to be an advantage though.

I also use an additonal resettable breaker located at the bottom of the compaionway about 12 inches from the battery so if the chain snags I can reset the breaker. Mine has a bit of a hair trigger that I often don't like but it avoids smoke and flames and I do like that. A burning windlass motor ain't cheap!
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Old 05-05-2006, 08:31   #38
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In my view, itís seldom worthwhile installing a dedicated windlass battery forward. Notwithstanding, the potential advantage in locating a dedicated battery near the windlass, might be derived from the smaller ampacity of the charging circuit vs the larger ampacity of the windlass load circuit.
ie: A 100 A windlass Feeder, requiring 70 Ft of #4/0 Cable, vs a 60A Alternator Output requiring 70 Ft. of 2/0 Cable.
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Old 05-05-2006, 10:20   #39
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Hi Alan. "Diodes don't go weak. One that has leakage ... just hasn't dead shorted. " In "alternator speak" in many alt shops, they call a leaking one a "weak diode", while that may be wrong maybe it is just a convenient way to say "failed but didn't blow up"? <G> Of course, many shops are known to do many things wrong (like paint the heat sinks and diode frames) but what else is ever new?
The forward drop across an isolation diode *should* be able to be matched by using a similar (preferably identical) diode in the sense lead. Why isolators don't offer to sell that as an optional part, I don't know. But it should be "close enough" to pick up a stock diode.
A friend of mine had a dead (literally, both leads broken off, hidden under electrical tape) ZapStop on his alternator. Which was doubly sad because the alternator had the same protection built into it anyway. I found the same diode sells for about 1/10th the "marine" price as an electronic component, but considering the markup covers two more distribution levels, a bit of packaging, and all that stuff...I honestly can't argue with it as a "consumer" markup.

Paul-
"It's funny as Fred (the guy that helped me) told me he was working on a boat that had 12 isolators installed. " TWELVE?! Wow. And did the crew have to wear heavy rubber boots and gloves for high-voltage protection?<G>
I've read similar recommendations for a forward winch battery. The logic stated is usually that it allows much lighter wiring to run forward, since the forward battery will be providing the real power and the wiring will just be charging--not supplying. If you have to make a fifty foot trip (100 of cable) using #4AWG and better, a forward battery may be a cheaper solution. Not saying I agree with the idea, just that I can appreciate considering the logic. And its convenient for the MagicFingers in the v-berth mattress too, right?<G>
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Old 05-05-2006, 11:51   #40
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I've read similar recommendations for a forward winch battery. The logic stated is usually that it allows much lighter wiring to run forward, since the forward battery will be providing the real power and the wiring will just be charging--not supplying. If you have to make a fifty foot trip (100 of cable) using #4AWG and better, a forward battery may be a cheaper solution. Not saying I agree with the idea, just that I can appreciate considering the logic. And its convenient for the MagicFingers in the v-berth mattress too, right?<G>

With boats there is usually many good reasons for most things. You often think you have them all then find out "Darn, I could have had magic fingers in the V Berth - if I only had known."

You really do need to keep an eye on the bigger picture.

I've only got about 25 ft to the bow from the batteries so the extra battery wouldn't be worth it and the chain locker is really too small with 10 mm chain piled up as it is right now. So maybe I don't feel so bad.
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:33   #41
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My boat came with the forward windlass battery (that of course didn't work). Looking at the size of the cables, and the length they would have to run, have convinced me that this is what is best for this boat. There is currently two single 0 cables being run from the windlass battery to the windlass - it is a run of about 6 feet. If I were to run cables from the house/starting battery to the windlass, it would be a run of close to 40 feet (can't get directly from one to the other) on each leg. I'm no electrician, but I suspect that would have to be about 3 ought (0) cable for the long. ??
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:45   #42
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Paul-
"You really do need to keep an eye on the bigger picture." So, I shouldn't worry about the Magic Fingers as long as the Geisha is under contract?<VBG>

Thomas-
How much power does your windlass take? That's the key to sizing the cables. With a run of 40', times two cables, it counts as an 80' run for the wiring guide tables. For a 60-amp load at 80 feet, yes, 3/0 cable would be required by the standard 3% acceptable voltage drop. But you can find that cheap in the "adults only toys" section of your local WalMart. (Sadly kidding.<G>)
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:08   #43
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Hellosailor - I don't know what it draws - just reviewed the manual and it didn't say. I COULD crawl up forward and try and read the motor plate, but since the wiring diagram suggested 0 & 00 cable, I'll presume that it is in that vicinity.

Also - the geisha has to work the aft cabin first!
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:24   #44
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Very roughly, $400-600 worth of cable in any case. Making a hundred dollar battery located forward seem not entirely unreasonable, I think.
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Old 06-05-2006, 15:37   #45
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Incidentally... the cheapest place to pick up 1/0, 0 or whatever cable is at a welding shop. Don't be fooled into picking it up at any marine stores.
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