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Author Topic:   Portable Battery Charger
TQT Whaler posted 04-10-2003 07:54 AM ET (US)   Profile for TQT Whaler   Send Email to TQT Whaler  
Have a problem on my Outrage:
I have dual batteries and last season one of the two batteries always died approximately every 6 weeks. (I tried to find voltage leak but was unsuccessful.) I would then take the battery out, charge it and it would would be good to go, but would discharge over the next few weeks.
I am considering buying a portable battery charger. You know, the ones you keep at home, charge on 110V, and bring to the boat to have in case the baterry dies. I figure I'll charge up from there every other week.
Does anyone have any reccomendations on brands/capacities/other ideas?
kingfish posted 04-10-2003 09:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Can't help you with the charger question, but you might think about a battery switch, if you really can't track down the discharge; you can then turn the connection to the batteries off when not in use, and in so doing eliminate the draw-down. I did that to my Outrage last year, largely due to a similar problem, then about two weeks later while dinking around doing something inside the console, discovered I had inadvertantly wired a cigarette lighter-type accessory outlet with the ground on the wrong terminal. That solved the initial problem, but I still like the idea of a switch and am glad I put one in.
TQT Whaler posted 04-10-2003 10:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for TQT Whaler  Send Email to TQT Whaler     
I have two Perko battery switches in place, but I still have a draw-down. Any suggestions?
kingfish posted 04-10-2003 10:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
You have two batteries with a switch on each one? (I have one switch with 4 positions: "1", "2", "Both" and "Off"; I turn the switch to the "Off" position when not in use.) Are they simple "On-Off" switches? Initially it sounds to me like there is a failed switch that is not breaking the circuit - there should be no continuity between the switch terminals when it is in the "Off" position. And have you looked at the wiring to the switches to confirm that no stray wire strands are somehow bypassing the switch by being allowed to come into contact with a terminal on the other side of the switch or some such?
andygere posted 04-10-2003 03:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
It could be that the suspect battery is not charging adequately when the boat is running. Check your battery cables. All it takes is a pin hole in the cable jacket for the copper inside to turn to mush in short order. This happened on my Montauk and I was astounded at how quickly it deteriorated. Needless to say, I made up new cables with high quality cable ends for the entire charging system on both batteries. West Marine sells the cable by the foot, and has a swaging tool so you can make up the custom lengths you will need.
kingfish posted 04-10-2003 04:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Good thought, Andy-

I had locked myself into a visualization of the battery being in good shape when it was put to bed, and the discharge all occurring after the motor was shut down.

Another thought occurs to me too, especially with two switches and not having an understanding of how they are configured: Are the batteries and switches configured so that both batteries *can* charge from the motor? And if so, are the switches being manipulated correctly such that they both have access to whatever charge the motor is producing?

Bigshot posted 04-11-2003 02:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
With an outboard you should not run both batts at the same time. The engine's charging system can't handle it. If you have a good bat and a bad bat the bad bat will darin the good one. With switches off you should go 6 months before they draw down, have it looked ta, your switches aint right.

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