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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Total Automatic Battery System
|Author||Topic: Total Automatic Battery System|
posted 05-01-2008 08:32 PM ET (US)
[Seeks] a manual for the Total Automatic Battery System Box that [Boston Whaler] used in a 2002 Conquest 295. I have the standard three-battery system (Port Motor, Starboard Motor, and House Battery). All three batteries are charged and show good voltage. The port and starboard engines will crank just fine, but I'm not getting power to the main 12-VDC distribution panel. I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the panel is only connected to the House battery. If I hit the Battery Parallel Switch then I get power to the 12-VDC distribution panel. I guess the Battery Parallel Switch puts all three batteries in parallel. Any ideas?
posted 05-09-2008 08:51 PM ET (US)
Oh my God, is this the infamous "Well's Marine" Total Automatic Battery System, enclosed in a Grey box about 14" X 14"? Drop me a line. Not to many people know about this "piece of crap"! I know Jack Wells all to well.
posted 05-09-2008 09:15 PM ET (US)
There is no telling exactly how your boat is wired. We can only make an educated guess. The power to the main 12-volt distribution panel is generally provided through a circuit breaker with a rating of 30 to 50-amperes. If this breaker has been tripped, you will not get any power to the distribution panel. Generally this breaker is located close to the battery that supplies the power for it.
In 12-volt circuits there is not enough voltage to jump across poor connections, and often even just a thin layer of corrosion, only a few molecules thick, can create enough insulation to prevent the flow of current.
To deduce where the problem may be in your circuit, go to the point where you expect to have voltage. Begin working back toward the source of voltage. Connect one lead of a voltmeter to the place where you expect voltage to be, and using the other lead, work backwards in the circuit until you find the voltage present. At the point in the circuit where you find the voltage is present, you will have discovered where the discontinuity in the circuit is located.
posted 05-09-2008 09:57 PM ET (US)
Thanks for the info. Bob I will be giving you a call.
posted 05-09-2008 10:49 PM ET (US)
posted 05-12-2008 07:56 PM ET (US)
I have a very similar problem. I thought I had a bad battery it did not deem to take a charge it was a 2 year old optima. I replaced it with a new one and all appeared good. I was fishing for 30 minutes with minimum load and the battery appeared to go dead very quickly. No voltage on the DC panel. It charged up completely on the run back. I would expect to get many hours of house current on a new deep cycle optima. The house battery does seem the only source for the DC panel. I have been considering opening the TABS box. I am not sure what is onside. Any ideas are welcome.
posted 05-12-2008 09:06 PM ET (US)
The best way to find out what is inside an electrical device is to write to the manufacturer and ask for a schematic diagram. It is extremely tedious to try to repair or diagnose an electrical problem without having a schematic diagram of the circuitry. About the only exception to this is in cases where the device is so simple and the circuitry so trivial that it can easily be traced and documented in a few moments.
If the manufacturer does not furnish a schematic diagram, then you probably have to consider the device as UNREPAIRABLE. Ask the manufacturer to replace it under warranty.
Manufacturers who don't supply schematic diagrams with parts lists, and who don't sell replacement parts at reasonable costs should be avoided. Actually, people soon learn that such manufacturers don't supply good after-sale support, and those manufacturers go out of business.
If you have a schematic of your device, perhaps you can scan it and post it. In that way we could help you diagnose the problem.
posted 05-12-2008 09:30 PM ET (US)
What you find inside is both simple and unknown. First a series of latching solenoids, each for the individual batteries and for parelleling, which is the simple part. Then you will see a circuit board near each solenoid encased in heat shrink. This is the "unknown" part. Jack Wells has patents on his T.A.B.S., and it rests in the circuitry of these boards. Let's put it this way. When one of our customers TABS box acts up, we send them a replacement system, since Wells has not given us a trouble-shooting protocol to try and figure this shit out!
If anyone would like to contact me about this issue, and has already contacted BW cust. serv. with no remedy, I'll see what I can do. Like I said, I know Jack Wells unfortunately all to well. But I can bend his ear. BTW, we switched over BEP's motorized battery switches. Really slick! And they work, too!
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