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Author Topic:   Battery charger & isolators?
13sport posted 02-24-2002 05:38 PM ET (US)   Profile for 13sport  

I am redoing the electric on my 1976-13 sport. I want to have switches for lights, GPS, fish-finder, and bilge pump and other accessories. I am also want to use two batteries, as I want to have an electric trolling motor. I am considering a small on-board battery charger. My question is this: Does anyone make a combination battery combiner/isolator/charger?

My goal is to have one piece of equipment to charge and manage the protection of the batteries whether being charged my the engine or the charger.

This is my first rewiring project so I have a rather steep learning curve.

jimh posted 02-25-2002 12:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I would keep the two batteries completely isolated. Don't make any complicated interconnection of them.

Hook up the engine starting battery to the engine, and run the NAV lights and accessory electronics (FF or DS) off that battery.

Run the trolling motor of a separate battery and have a shore-powered charger to re-charge that one.

Most smaller outboards have rather simple and somewhat fragile charing circuits. There generally is not a convenient way to separate the charging current output from the engine's main battery positive lead. That situation will cause you problems trying to connect an isolator. The engine charger and the starting batteries are wired together under the cowling. Separating them would be a challenge for you (considering this is your first wiring project).

The advantage to keeping things separate is the simplicity. If you run the trolling battery down you will still get your engine started.

A 13-foot open boat is not really the best place to begin to install complex wiring. Heck, most 25-foot Whalers run without anything as complicated as what you've proposed.

--jimh

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