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Old 01-10-2010, 19:39   #1
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Stainless Battery Post Extension ?

I just installed new golf cart batteries in my house bank. The threaded vertical stud was too short to hook up the ground cables on two batteries. Is there any problem using a stainless steel plate with two holes in it to attach to the battery terminal? (The second hole will be for a stainless vertical bolt as an extra connection point for a ground cable.) The stainless plate is 1/16" thick and 1" wide so there is plenty of metal there, but I'm not sure whether stainless is a good conductor. Do you see any problems with this solution? (I prefer not to use extra remote posts since that requires two more cables to make all the connections.)
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Old 01-10-2010, 20:20   #2
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Stainless steel is a very poor electrical conductor -- it has about 40x the resistance of copper. Brass is about 10x better than stainless steel, and I see tinned brass used for busbars, so you might try that.
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Old 02-10-2010, 05:53   #3
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The best electrical bus bar will be copper (preferably tin plated), and S/S the worst.

The extra remote bus (post) is actually a good solution
Organizing the Tangle of Wires on My Boat's Battery Terminal - Resources - Blue Sea Systems
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Old 02-10-2010, 07:56   #4
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Stainless steel is a very poor electrical conductor -- it has about 40x the resistance of copper. Brass is about 10x better than stainless steel, and I see tinned brass used for busbars, so you might try that.
Thanks Paul and Gord for the inputs. I was trying to use some stainless that was in my spares kit, but that's obviously not the way to go. I'll start looking for some copper or brass flat stock or buy another remote post. How come nothing is easy??
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:08   #5
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... How come nothing is easy??
I don't know, either.

I’ve never been quite able to swallow Theodore Roosevelt’s opinion on a life of ease:
"Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty... I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well."

Then there’s Jethro Tull’s nonsensical “ Nothing Is Easy”
“... Nothing is easy, you'll find
that the squeeze won't turn out so bad.
Your fingers may freeze, worse things happen at sea,
there's good times to be had.
So if you're alone and you're down to the bone,
just give us a play.
You'll smile in a while and discover
that I'll get you happy my way --
nothing's easy.”
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:37   #6
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And I agree that copper is probably the best choice, especially if you use nuts and bolts to secure the connectors. I assume that brass is used where the busbar needs to be threaded, since copper is probably too soft to hold the threads.

If you can't tin the busbar, at least cover it and the connections with dielectric grease.
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:09   #7
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Originally Posted by svcattales View Post
Thanks Paul and Gord for the inputs. I was trying to use some stainless that was in my spares kit, but that's obviously not the way to go. I'll start looking for some copper or brass flat stock or buy another remote post. How come nothing is easy??

Batteries Plus sells an inexpensive but efficient gang connector that can be attached to a battery post needing multiple connections. I used one when installing our windlass.

FWIW...
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Old 27-03-2015, 19:43   #8
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Re: Stainless Battery Post Extension ?

Reviving an old thread...

Facing the same issue with my batteries. I need to connect my windlass and ssb directly to the battery but the stud is too short to support it.

I tried searching on the Batteries Plus website for the extender but could not find it... any ideas?

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Old 28-03-2015, 11:59   #9
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Re: Stainless Battery Post Extension ?

Use an external bus bar, preferably Blue Sea Systems. These are quality products and allow the connection of multiple cables. Also, the SSB will require an ANL or MRBF fuse on both the positive and negative cables, located close to the battery. A bus bar or two will do the trick neatly and securely, with no loss of voltage.

Bill
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Old 28-03-2015, 13:01   #10
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Re: Stainless Battery Post Extension ?

btrayfors,

That is the issue... I only have room to add one more lug on the post. Since the batteries are already connected in series/parallel, I have two hefty lugs going to the post - one for the battery to battery connection and one going to my existing bus bar, which has all sorts of stuff on it already including my wind, solar, bilge pump, etc... all those things that do not go through a circuit breaker panel.

The dockside directions say I should go directly to the battery but are you saying that I would be OK having the SSB going to the bus bar?

If so, then problem solved because I can just barely get the windlass on the battery post.

I'll be sure to put fuses in both neg and pos lines of the SSB. Should that be to protect the wire or the unit? My ssb unit will only be about 3 feet from the batteries so I can use the wire that came with the unit.
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Old 28-03-2015, 13:33   #11
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Re: Stainless Battery Post Extension ?

the bus bar is the same as the battery. as long as the bus bar cable is a decent size. nothing should be connected direct to a battery. it just makes for a mess.


the wind, solar, bildge ect should all be going to a fuse block, attached to bus bar. much easier.
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Old 28-03-2015, 15:45   #12
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Re: Stainless Battery Post Extension ?

In your case, with the run so short and consisting of AWG10 wire, I think I'd just use a 30A MRBF fuse installed on one of the positions on the positive buss bar.

If the power wire to your radio already has installed in-line fuses on both pos and neg wires (as many of them have), you could probably skip the additional fuse on the NEG pole of the battery (or the neg buss bar if you have one).

The purpose of the fuse in the negative is to avoid having some piece of equipment which has lost its ground instead try to use the radio ground circuit for a negative connection to the battery. The in-line fuse might take care of this, depending on the current draw of the defective device, but to be 100% sure you could install a second MRBF on the negative side.

Bill
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Old 28-03-2015, 16:37   #13
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Re: Stainless Battery Post Extension ?



ANCOR MARINE Lead Battery Terminals | West Marine

No need to reinvent the wheel.
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Old 28-03-2015, 17:16   #14
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Re: Stainless Battery Post Extension ?

The positive battery bus should be powered through an ANL fuse. Like this.

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Old 28-03-2015, 18:40   #15
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Re: Stainless Battery Post Extension ?

btrayfors,

Thanks! I looked up the MRBF fuses and found this!

BLUE SEA SYSTEMS Terminal Fuse Blocks | West Marine

It fit the ticket just fine. Got for the pos and for the neg with the necessary fuses.

The problem with going to my existing bus bar is that its completely full as well and is pretty inaccessible - its behind the batteries. Our boat just wasn't designed for all this equipment. A future project will be to completely redo the bus appropriately. For now, we are going to actually go sailing!

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