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Old 17-05-2012, 14:06   #31
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Originally Posted by skipmac

Not sure I understand what you are saying here. A standard Off/1/2/Both switch will completely isolate two battery banks, just like the Blue Sea Off/1/Combine (same as Both) switch. Either switch set to 1 will completely isolate battery 2 from 1. Either switch will connect batteries 1 and 2 when set to Both or Combine.
I wasn't talking about separating the banks, I was talking about separating the loads. The normal configuration of a 1/2/off/both switch has the starter circuit and house distribution circuit connected, and the switch allows you to select a bank to power everything at once. I prefer to keep my starter and house distribution isolated from each other.
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Old 17-05-2012, 14:17   #32
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

AGM Battery Issues and the Blue Seas Dual Circuit Switch (from Maine Sail) "DARN AGM Batteries"
Darn AGM Batteries - SailboatOwners.com

The Blue Seas Dual Circuit switch is a disaster waiting to happen. Combining a bad bank with a good one is simply nuts.

Here are discussions about simple wiring with a 1-2-B switch or that and a second I/O switch.

Basic Battery Wiring Diagrams This is a very good basic primer for boat system wiring: Basic Battery Wiring Diagrams

This is another very good basic primer for boat system wiring: The 1-2-B Switch by Maine Sail (brings together a lot of what this subject is all about)
1/BOTH/2/OFF Switches Thoughts & Musings - SailboatOwners.com

A duo charge is twice or more the cost of an echo charger, and unless you have mixed battery types is simply not worth the extra cost, although they do pretty much the same thing.

A combiner can be wired with a toggle switch in the negative lead to turn it off if your start/reserve bank is completely charged. RTFM. I've done that, 'cuz sometimes I motor a lot with a full reserve bank. I bought my combiner from WM in 1998 and it's still working just fine. I got the combiner 'cuz they hadn't invented the echo charger back then.

As mentioned, the ACR is just like a combiner.
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Old 17-05-2012, 14:33   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson
AGM Battery Issues and the Blue Seas Dual Circuit Switch (from Maine Sail) "DARN AGM Batteries"
Darn AGM Batteries - SailboatOwners.com

The Blue Seas Dual Circuit switch is a disaster waiting to happen. Combining a bad bank with a good one is simply nuts.

Here are discussions about simple wiring with a 1-2-B switch or that and a second I/O switch.

Basic Battery Wiring Diagrams This is a very good basic primer for boat system wiring: Basic Battery Wiring Diagrams

This is another very good basic primer for boat system wiring: The 1-2-B Switch by Maine Sail (brings together a lot of what this subject is all about)
1/BOTH/2/OFF Switches Thoughts & Musings - SailboatOwners.com

A duo charge is twice or more the cost of an echo charger, and unless you have mixed battery types is simply not worth the extra cost, although they do pretty much the same thing.

A combiner can be wired with a toggle switch in the negative lead to turn it off if your start/reserve bank is completely charged. RTFM. I've done that, 'cuz sometimes I motor a lot with a full reserve bank. I bought my combiner from WM in 1998 and it's still working just fine. I got the combiner 'cuz they hadn't invented the echo charger back then.

As mentioned, the ACR is just like a combiner.
I agree that using the BOTH position on ANY switch is a disaster waiting to happen. However I disagree that the Blue Seas Dual Circuit switch is problematic if used properly.
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Old 17-05-2012, 18:19   #34
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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I agree that using the BOTH position on ANY switch is a disaster waiting to happen. However I disagree that the Blue Seas Dual Circuit switch is problematic if used properly.
If the BS DC switch is used in the combine position when one bank is flat (usually when the house bank dies) the unsuspecting skipper is left with nothing. That combine position is just like using B on a 1-2-B switch with a dead bank. The BS DC switch simply does not allow the skipper to use one bank OR the other. "Used properly?" The BS website says to use combine if one bank is dead. That sounds like the "proper" way to do it, but it sure doesn't work, if you'd read the "Darn AGM" link provided.

But, your boat, your choice.
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Old 17-05-2012, 18:34   #35
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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If the BS DC switch is used in the combine position when one bank is flat (usually when the house bank dies) the unsuspecting skipper is left with nothing. That combine position is just like using B on a 1-2-B switch with a dead bank. The BS DC switch simply does not allow the skipper to use one bank OR the other. "Used properly?" The BS website says to use combine if one bank is dead. That sounds like the "proper" way to do it, but it sure doesn't work, if you'd read the "Darn AGM" link provided.

But, your boat, your choice.
You and I clearly agree on what "proper" means. And clearly, both styles of switches can be used "improperly," so both are a "disaster waiting to happen." Then again, nearly everything on a boat is a "disaster waiting to happen" if used improperly.

In my opinion, the best systems require two switches--as your links discuss. Neither style of switch can do it all by itself, so both choices are lacking.

It's hard to imagine a situation where a properly maintained start battery, in a well thought-out system, would suddenly die, with no warning, in imminent circumstances where there is no time to switch cables from one bank to the other. Of course most anything is possible on a boat, so the addition of a $20 switch is an easy safeguard.
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Old 17-05-2012, 21:00   #36
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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Originally Posted by Jbaffoh View Post
I wasn't talking about separating the banks, I was talking about separating the loads. The normal configuration of a 1/2/off/both switch has the starter circuit and house distribution circuit connected, and the switch allows you to select a bank to power everything at once. I prefer to keep my starter and house distribution isolated from each other.
I see. Yes that configuration is common but I was confused since the configuration I am discussing does have separate batteries for house and start and both are isolated.

What I am asking about is how I will charge the isolated starter battery and how I will connect the house batteries to the starter for emergency starting since they will be isolated in normal use.
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Old 17-05-2012, 21:41   #37
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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Old 17-05-2012, 22:01   #38
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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OK Bill, you have managed to confuse me. Is the 1-2-Both-Off switch upside down in your diagram? The way it's drawn it looks like position 2 connects the starter circuit to the DC panel, assuming the starter battery switch is in the ON position.
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Old 17-05-2012, 22:08   #39
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
OK Bill, you have managed to confuse me. Is the 1-2-Both-Off switch upside down in your diagram? The way it's drawn it looks like position 2 connects the starter circuit to the DC panel, assuming the starter battery switch is in the ON position.
Don't be confused! The diagram is correct.

Yes, you could in an emergency use the starter battery to power the DC panel. However, this arrangement gives you maximum flexibility.

You normally leave the selector switch on position #1. The house battery powers the DC panel.

When you want to use the engine, you turn on the ON-OFF switch to the starter battery.

If the starter battery is bad, you can select "BOTH" which connects the house batteries to the starter, either with the start battery in the circuit ("ON") or completely isolated ("OFF"), as circumstances dictate.

Study the diagram a bit longer: I think you'll see the advantage of wiring this way for simplicity and for maximum flexibility.

Bill
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Old 17-05-2012, 22:27   #40
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Don't be confused! The diagram is correct.

Yes, you could in an emergency use the starter battery to power the DC panel. However, this arrangement gives you maximum flexibility.

You normally leave the selector switch on position #1. The house battery powers the DC panel.

When you want to use the engine, you turn on the ON-OFF switch to the starter battery.

If the starter battery is bad, you can select "BOTH" which connects the house batteries to the starter, either with the start battery in the circuit ("ON") or completely isolated ("OFF"), as circumstances dictate.

Study the diagram a bit longer: I think you'll see the advantage of wiring this way for simplicity and for maximum flexibility.

Bill
Now clear. Wasn't thinking about the both position that would connect 1 and 2.

My plan was the opposite, use a 1-2-Both-Off on the start side of the circuit On/Off on the house bank. Starter takes the output from the 1-2-Both-Off switch, start battery to 1, house bank via the "jumper wire" to 2. Could still select Both to send starter bank to the DC panel. Have to look at my diagram but seems like function would be the same as your setup.

Looking at your diagram gave me another idea. At your 1-2-Both-Off switch, if you wire the House bank to the output terminal, DC panel to 1, starter to 2 you could disconnect all house loads from the system when selecting 2 for emergency start. You would be sending power backwards through the switch but can't think of any reason why that would be bad.
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Old 18-05-2012, 05:51   #41
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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If the BS DC switch is used in the combine position when one bank is flat (usually when the house bank dies) the unsuspecting skipper is left with nothing. That combine position is just like using B on a 1-2-B switch with a dead bank. The BS DC switch simply does not allow the skipper to use one bank OR the other.


Thank you. Exactly my point. I can see a way to use the BS switch "properly" by adding one more switch after the starter battery to remove it from the circuit to avoid this problem. So in theory you can kludge up a way to use the BS switch but only by adding additional and unnecessary complexity.
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Old 18-05-2012, 05:53   #42
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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Now clear. Wasn't thinking about the both position that would connect 1 and 2.

My plan was the opposite, use a 1-2-Both-Off on the start side of the circuit On/Off on the house bank. Starter takes the output from the 1-2-Both-Off switch, start battery to 1, house bank via the "jumper wire" to 2. Could still select Both to send starter bank to the DC panel. Have to look at my diagram but seems like function would be the same as your setup.

Looking at your diagram gave me another idea. At your 1-2-Both-Off switch, if you wire the House bank to the output terminal, DC panel to 1, starter to 2 you could disconnect all house loads from the system when selecting 2 for emergency start. You would be sending power backwards through the switch but can't think of any reason why that would be bad.
Yes, but if you wire it that way there's no way to isolate the house battery bank in the event of an emergency with a defective house battery bank.

In the diagram I posted, it's possible to disable either battery bank, or to run the whole boat -- starter and DC panel -- from either battery bank.

BTW, there's no such thing as "sending the power backwards through the switch". The switch doesn't care which direction the current travels through its contacts :-)

Bill
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Old 18-05-2012, 06:54   #43
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As I mentioned earlier a simple affordable way to get there is with 3 simple on off switches, rated for the loads in question of course. They can be set up much like Bills diagram and be able to use either battery to power either load and completely isolate the battery in question. Batteries can have internal failures where simply combining them with a good battery will leave you with all your batteries trashed.
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Old 18-05-2012, 07:36   #44
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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As I mentioned earlier a simple affordable way to get there is with 3 simple on off switches, rated for the loads in question of course. They can be set up much like Bills diagram and be able to use either battery to power either load and completely isolate the battery in question. Batteries can have internal failures where simply combining them with a good battery will leave you with all your batteries trashed.
Exactly right!

I have done this for some clients, and am preparing to do another setup like this at Herrington Harbour North in a few weeks. I like to use the Blue Sea Systems #6006 switches....small, robust, inexpensive, and rated for more than enough amperage. Can be surface mounted or recessed.

Only reason not to do this, IMHO, is if there is already a 1-2-Both-OFF switch in place which for one reason or another it would be better to keep in place and use. Otherwise, the ON-OFF switch solution is a great way to go.

Bill
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Old 18-05-2012, 08:26   #45
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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Exactly right!

I have done this for some clients, and am preparing to do another setup like this at Herrington Harbour North in a few weeks. I like to use the Blue Sea Systems #6006 switches....small, robust, inexpensive, and rated for more than enough amperage. Can be surface mounted or recessed.

Only reason not to do this, IMHO, is if there is already a 1-2-Both-OFF switch in place which for one reason or another it would be better to keep in place and use. Otherwise, the ON-OFF switch solution is a great way to go.

Bill
Those are the exact switches I used Bill. I mounted them on a piece of 1/2" black starboard and made my own little panel. Oh and Bill Im still intending to give you a call to talk SSB recievers just been swamped with other projects lately.
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