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Old 18-05-2012, 09:01   #46
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

I think the Blue Sea 8280 battery management panel is set up as is being described. (Dual Battery Bank Management Panel - PN 8280 - Blue Sea Systems) Page two of the instructions shows the wiring diagram (http://bluesea.com/files/resources/i...tions/6619.pdf).
They have another version, the 8080, that substitutes a 100 amp breaker for the house bank rotary switch.
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Old 18-05-2012, 11:00   #47
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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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.
WADR, if you read the links in reply #32, you'd see that one option is exactly what Bill suggested in reply #37.

Bill, Maine Sail, mitiempo and many others of us have been answering this same question on many boards for many years.

There are only a handful of different ways to wire 1-2-B switches, or a series of I/O switches, and we see tons of folks trying to reinvent the wheel.

Again, if you ask the question and the answers are provided, only you can decide if you want to read them or not.

The echo charger is the answer to your question about isolation and use.
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Old 18-05-2012, 12:53   #48
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

I had a nice pm chat with Skip today. Didn't mean to dump on him, 'cuz he understands, just venting. Sorry about that.

BTW, West Marine promotes the three individual switch idea. I believe it's wasteful in two ways:

1. Most boats already HAVE 1-2-B switches. They just need to be wired "properly" by taking the AO off the C post of the switch and run to the house bank, using a "combining relay" of some sort, i.e., echo charger, combiner or ACR, for the reserve bank. That's the whole point of the links I provided, and what Bill suggests.

2. 3 individual switches, besides costing more than simply using what you have or adding only one more On/Off switch ala Bill's idea (and one of the options I linked), is over the top because it needs written instructions for use (if it was MY boat I'd do that).

Your boat, your choice.
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Old 18-05-2012, 12:55   #49
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

With BTrafors and SV Demeter's plans, it seems that both the house load and starter load would always be energized whenever you swapped or combined batteries--am I missing something?

For example, if the starter battery switch is opened and the house bank is routed to the starter, the house load is also energized unless the main breaker at the panel is opened. More troubling, is if the house bank is dead and the start battery is temporarily energizing the house load, then the starter load is also energized. If work needs to be done in the engine compartment during this time, there is a danger of hitting the positive starter lug or some other hot point and welding your wrench to something before the fuse blows.

Unless my head is buried higher up my colon than I thought, the only way to truly isolate/swap/combine the battery banks AND the loads, is to use two 1/2/OFF/Both switches; one for the starter load and one for the house load.
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Old 18-05-2012, 12:59   #50
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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2. 3 individual switches, besides costing more than simply using what you have or adding only one more On/Off switch ala Bill's idea (and one of the options I linked), is over the top because it needs written instructions for use (if it was MY boat I'd do that).

Your boat, your choice.
Yeah, I was going to mention that, too. It's even more confusing when the 1/2/Off/Both switch is rewired other than intended, and combined with a separate I/O switch.
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Old 18-05-2012, 13:41   #51
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

You're WAY overthinking this.

If you're working in the engine compartment, you turn the switches OFF or, better, remove a cable from the battery. You'd do this normally because, don't forget, in most of these schemes the alternator output cable is always hot, irrespective of the position of the switches.

For heavens sake, as Stu said, there are only a handful of ways to connect the various switches and all of them have been rather exhaustively vented.

Bill
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Old 18-05-2012, 14:03   #52
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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You're WAY overthinking this.

If you're working in the engine compartment, you turn the switches OFF or, better, remove a cable from the battery. You'd do this normally because, don't forget, in most of these schemes the alternator output cable is always hot, irrespective of the position of the switches.

For heavens sake, as Stu said, there are only a handful of ways to connect the various switches and all of them have been rather exhaustively vented.

Bill
1. There are situations where you need the house panel energized while you work on the motor. It is not possible under your solution to turn off the starter circuit while the house load is on.

2. The alternator output cable is only hot when the motor is running or is connected to the house bank. If you're rebuilding the alternator because it's failure led to the depletion of the house bank, that cable is icy cold because you disconnected it before the rebuild. On the other hand, you cannot disconnect the battery mains because that would kill the house distribution.

Who's over-thinking this? You proposed two switches wired in the most unintuitive way that would confuse any newcomer to the boat, or even the boat owner after a couple beers. The other proposal involved THREE switches. I propose two switches wired in a clear, intuitive way that offers the most flexibility and control over any others I've seen. That's simplicity, not over thinking.
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Old 18-05-2012, 14:10   #53
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

You're wrong on both counts. The starter is disconnected when the ON-OFF switch is off. The selector switch is in the #1 position to power the panel with the house batteries.

The alternator output IS ALWAYS HOT, whether the motor is running or not. The wire is connected directly to the house batteries, through an appropriate fuse or breaker.

I'm done here.

Bill
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Old 18-05-2012, 14:36   #54
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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You're wrong on both counts. The starter is disconnected when the ON-OFF switch is off. The selector switch is in the #1 position to power the panel with the house batteries.

The alternator output IS ALWAYS HOT, whether the motor is running or not. The wire is connected directly to the house batteries, through an appropriate fuse or breaker.

I'm done here.

Bill
I beg to differ. Look at your diagram again and read my comments more thoroughly. My scenario involved powering the house distribution with the start battery because the house bank is dead. YOU cannot shut off the start circuit in that situation.

Also, read my comment about the alternator wire again. The alternator positive is NEVER hot if the motor is not running AND it's disconnected from the battery.

Look, I've spent years at sea on boats. Things always break, and always at the most inconvenient time, place, and manner. When you're fixing something at 3 a.m. in 35 foot seas, you will always wish somebody had the foresight to set things up differently that would enable you to solve the problem better. You usually can't plan for all contingencies, and if you plan for some, you may open yourself up to others. There are tradeoffs.

BUT, if you're going to use two switches, you might as well do it in a way that increases your options.
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Old 18-05-2012, 17:55   #55
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

Then what you do is take the fuse out of the AO wire (or add a switch in that wire), while the battery OUTPUT always goes to the panel and can power the boat.

The AO is always powered regardless of whether the engine is running or not. It's a direct connection. Unless the fuse is out, and, as you say, disconnected.

I'm with Bill on this one. Since there's no connection between the AO and starter.

Am I missing something?
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Old 18-05-2012, 18:11   #56
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

Stu,

Like Bill, you failed to read where I disconnected the AO wire from the battery because in that scenario I was rebuilding it. I do get it. Look for connector words like "and" which signify that two conditions must be present. If you disconnect the AO from the battery, AND the motor is not running, the AO wire is NOT hot. That's a truism. I said it twice, and two of you misread it twice. We can quibble about whether that's important, but we can't quibble about the accuracy of my statement--it was dead on.

Secondly, Bill's diagram shows that when you use the start bank to power the house panel, there is no way to disconnect the starter. Similarly, when using the house bank to power the starter, there is no way to shut down the house supply except at the panel. There are situations when one might need to to either of those.

My only point is that if one is going to run two or three switches anyway, why not set it up for maximum flexibility and simplicity? The Blue Sea 6007 1/2/off/both can be had for $28 each. They make handy labels for them; call one "house" and the other "engine." You can shut off either independently of the other, and you can select the power source for each independently. Just wire the house bank to #1 on the house switch, the starter bank to #2 on the engine switch, and a short jumper connecting the #1 poles together, and the #2 poles together. That's simple and obvious, and there's no need to ever use the "both" settings, unless you really need to for some reason.
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Old 19-05-2012, 06:44   #57
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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Hi Guys,

What's your opinion on this setup? I like this option mainly because one change, switching the 1-2-B-Off from 1 to 2 will simultaneously isolate a dead starter battery and connect the house bank to the starter. In an emergency if I'm at the helm and send a crew member below to switch batteries it is easier give one command, switch the battery to 2. Since the other switch is only On-Off no possibility for confusion.

The weak points of this option:

1. It does not allow isolating the DC panel with that one switch change but could be done by using the main DC panel breaker.

2. Does not allow isolation of the house bank and feed the DC panel from the start bank without adding another switch, jumper or moving a cable. Since this is not usually an emergency requirement I can live with this.

NOTE: fuses, charging connections and combiner left out of the diagram for clarity, simplicity and because I was feeling too lazy to add them.
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Old 17-02-2013, 12:46   #58
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

OK, I have a big wooden spoon, and I would like to stir this pot, and bump this thread. Ignoring the fact that this thread was hijacked (why am I not surprised?!) if one has decided on the simple relay-combiner route instead of the echo-charge, why don't we throw in the Victron Cyrix, at $47?
So now it is a choice between the Yandina, Blue Sea ACR, and the Victron Cyrix.
- opinions on the new choice?

I personally like the idea of simply borrowing 15 amps of the main charging current without actually paralleling the battery banks (Echo-Charge). I also have a separate switch for linking them in parallel, and one for starting the engine from the house bank, in isolation.

I am not against the use of a simple combining relay either, and wondering if there is much to choose between the Yandina, Blue Sea, or Victron?
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