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Old 13-07-2016, 10:00   #1
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Xantrex Pathmaker Automatic battery switch

I am finally getting to my rewiring project and at the heart of my charging system is an older Xantrex Pathmaker Automatic Battery Switch which is wired up exactly as per the manual. It says any other charging system can be connected to "any battery". But it seems that once the system is connected, it treats all 3 banks (house and 2 starts) as 1 system. The start batteries need little recharging while the house would certainly require much more in the morning. This does not seem correct to me. And when connected, it would seem the lower voltage house would draw down the 2 start batteries. The manual also has the alternator connected directly to the starter as well. I am about to install my new large house bank and would like to get this correct. Not looking to spend more money but stay with this Xantrex system or do something different? If different , what? Proposed wiring diagram attached,, switch is marked as a Heart Pathmaker. BTW, the main house bank is a good 15 feet forward of the switch. Port engine is about 10 from the switch and the SB engine about 15 ft from it. House bank is 645 Ahr. - all FLA. Older Heart 2000w inverter is adjacent to the house bank.
thanks in advance...Ed

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File Type: pdf proposed wire diagram.pdf (215.3 KB, 39 views)
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Old 14-07-2016, 01:00   #2
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Re: Xantrex Pathmaker Automatic battery switch

The pathfinder are auto charge relays just like the acrs and vsrs which are commonly used today. And work fine.

They should be connected to each of the 3 batteries with large enough cable to handle all the charge loads. Likly direct to battery. The interconnecting negs also have to be big.

They are not switches. You are still missing all the switches in your diagram. Each start battery, house loads , and inverter should have battery switches. But then you need to seperate switched and un switched loads. Currently you have them combined on same bus. (Solar and electronics)


Inverter is a class t fuse not anl.

The wind gen should go to the house battery. As I wouldn't trust it to get the voltage up to engage the pathmaker. The "connect to any battery". Only holds true to decent size charging devices.

Alts connecting to starter post is common factory wiring. If you have small Alts <60a I would leave it the way it is. If you have larger external reg Alts then wire direct to house bank.

The pathfinder can not draw down batteries. It will only join batteries under a charging voltage. At which point all batteries will be charging.
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Old 14-07-2016, 05:50   #3
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Re: Xantrex Pathmaker Automatic battery switch

Thanks smac999,
Yes, I left off the battery switches ( and lots of other components) as I was primarily interested in the Pathmaker. I do have a battery monitor for the house and the SB start battery since it is the farthest away. All my charging sources are near the stern while the large house bank in forward. I think I will connect all charging to the house and leave the Pathmaker as is.

Quote:
The pathfinder are auto charge relays just like the acrs and vsrs which are commonly used today
I spent time on the Blue Seas web site yesterday and don't see that the newer ACR products do anything differently.

Quote:
Inverter is a class t fuse not anl.
- I will have to look into class T fuses as I was not aware of them before I came across a chart of how much of an overload different types of fuses can handle yesterday. The current setup uses ANL and probably has for years before I got the boat.

Quote:
The interconnecting negs also have to be big.
they are

Quote:
you need to seperate switched and un switched loads.
help me to understand why. What does separating them do? Are they not all at the same voltage as the house bank? Or some other reason? I was under the impression that every connection ( including switches) adds a slight resistance to the circuit ( I remember something from MaineSail even showing a smaller fuse adding resistance)

One last question. How does the size of the hole in a terminal lug matter? Most of the busses have 1/4" studs but some of the cables have lugs with 5/16 or even 3/8" holes. Is it worthwhile to cut these off and crimp on new lugs with smaller holes?

thanks again for the review and input. Ed
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Old 14-07-2016, 22:24   #4
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Re: Xantrex Pathmaker Automatic battery switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailorman Ed View Post
Thanks smac999,
Yes, I left off the battery switches ( and lots of other components) as I was primarily interested in the Pathmaker. I do have a battery monitor for the house and the SB start battery since it is the farthest away. All my charging sources are near the stern while the large house bank in forward. I think I will connect all charging to the house and leave the Pathmaker as is.

I spent time on the Blue Seas web site yesterday and don't see that the newer ACR products do anything differently.

- I will have to look into class T fuses as I was not aware of them before I came across a chart of how much of an overload different types of fuses can handle yesterday. The current setup uses ANL and probably has for years before I got the boat.

they are

help me to understand why. What does separating them do? Are they not all at the same voltage as the house bank? Or some other reason? I was under the impression that every connection ( including switches) adds a slight resistance to the circuit ( I remember something from MaineSail even showing a smaller fuse adding resistance)

One last question. How does the size of the hole in a terminal lug matter? Most of the busses have 1/4" studs but some of the cables have lugs with 5/16 or even 3/8" holes. Is it worthwhile to cut these off and crimp on new lugs with smaller holes?

thanks again for the review and input. Ed
the main difference with the ACR's is they only do 2 batteries so you need to buy 2 of them and wire them side by side. vs the pathfinder which does 3 banks already. that and they are new. the old pathfinder may not last forever and and some point may have to be replaced.

Class T fuses are probably a newer product. I think they blow faster and will better protect an expensive inverter from a failure. all the new inverters call for class T fuses in the manuals.


I would cut off the lugs and use the correct size. especially 3/8 to 1/4 that is a hudge diff and the nut will probably barley grab.. the 5/16 may get away with.


with regards to separating the switched and unswitches loads I mean all the charging stuff should go straight to the battery. solar, wind, battery charger, pathmaker, bilge pump etc. when you turn off the house switch these stay connected to the battery on the battery side of the switch. and everything else goes after. electronics, lights, etc.

in your drawing you have solar and electronics comming off the same bus. so there is no place to properly add the house switch into your diagram. what you really need is an "unswitched" bus from the battery, and a "switched bus" after the battery switch.
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