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Author Topic:   Wiring Review Request - Blue Sea Systems ACR Installation
K Albus posted 04-21-2010 09:45 AM ET (US)   Profile for K Albus   Send Email to K Albus  
I recently had a Blue Sea Systems Add-A-Battery Kit installed in my boat. This kit includes a battery switch and an automatic charging relay with starting isolation which is supposed to protect the house circuit while the motor is being started. The dealership that installed the system for me installed it in a slightly different manner than is shown in the wiring diagram that was provided by Blue Sea Systems in the installation instructions. Can some of you electrical system wizards please review the installation and let me know if you believe it has been properly installed?

Here's my crude hand drawing of the actual installation: WiringDiagram.jpg

And here's the recommended wiring diagram from Blue Sea Systems: BlueSeasDiagram.jpg

And here's a link to the installation instructions on the Blue Sea Systems webpage:

A few of differences I noted were: 1) the dealership connected the negative battery posts directly to each other; 2) the dealership put the starting battery on the "A" side of the ACR, while the Blue Sea Systems diagram shows the starting battery on the "B" side; and 3) in the Blue Sea Systems wiring the + terminal of the starting battery is connected to the motor which then connected to the battery switch, while in my installation the + terminal on the starting battery goes to the battery switch which is then connected to the motor. Will any of these "differences" cause a problem?

One other potential problem. The Blue Sea System wiring diagram calls for fuses in the two main wires running to the ACR. These wires are battery cables (I believe they are #6 or #4 battery cables - I'm not very savvy when it comes to this electrical stuff). The dealership said they could not find any fuses to fit these wires, so they didn't install any. They suggested that I go to a car audio place and ask them about the fuses. What are your thoughts on the necessity of these fuses, and on possible sources for such fuses?

K Albus posted 04-21-2010 09:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
One more question - the motor appears to be wired to the + terminal one battery and the - terminal on the other battery. Is this an acceptable practice? Does this not defeat the purpose of attempting to separate the house circuit from the starting circuit?
K Albus posted 04-21-2010 10:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Here's another thing I just noticed. On the Blue Sea diagram, there is a loop running from the + terminal of the starting battery to the motor, then to the battery switch, and then from the battery switch back to the + terminal of the starting battery. There is no black wire connecting the motor back to the batteries.

On my boat, the wiring runs from the + terminal on the starting battery to the battery switch, and then to the motor. It does not "loop back to" the + terminal on the starting battery.

I'm in way over my head here.

Thirsty Whaler posted 04-21-2010 07:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Thirsty Whaler  Send Email to Thirsty Whaler     
These are links to the fuses and terminal fuse blocks that should have been installed on your positive battery terminals in this installation. The battery cable should be 4AWG Anchor with copper ring terminals that are tinned.
Are your batteries common, that is, are they both AGM starting/cranking batteries or deep cycles? Or,is the set of batteries installed in your boat one of each?|328|296553|319682&id=1210180&cartId=1688029|328|296553|319682&id=983740&cartId=1688001

K Albus posted 04-21-2010 07:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Both batteries are the same - Deka Marine Master Maintenance Free "Starting" batteries with 1,000 marine cranking amps.
jimh posted 04-21-2010 09:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Kevin--Give me a call. I'll be glad to help you out (as long as there is not a Stanley Cup Playoff game being televised).
jimh posted 04-22-2010 01:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Part of the problem Kevin has had in understanding the wiring for the Blue Seas ACR device originates in their own pictorial drawing, seen at BlueSeasDiagram.jpg

The negative circuit return in that diagram is shown as flowing on a ground or chassis circuit, not on a dedicated conductor. This is a great source of confusion for someone with a boat with a fiberglass hull. We just do not have ground buses or ground connections on which we expect the starter motor current to return to the battery. You would never install the device this way, and even on a steel hulled boat you would not depend on the hull to conduct the return current because of possible electro-corrosion. The Blue Seas drawing is very poor in this regard

The second problem with the diagram is a very confusing and very small illustration of the solenoid, in which we have to infer that the battery terminal and the solenoid coil terminal are separate circuits. I think this is very confusing. It is only because I know how the circuit is supposed to be wired that I could interpret the drawing.

A third problem with the drawing is that there are more fuses in the circuit than Carter has liver pills. I think either the legal or marketing department must have review this diagram, and each added more fuses, legal for safety concerns and marketing to enhance fuse sales. I think you reasonably omit several of the fuses in a small boat installation.

A fourth problem with the diagram is that in some cases wires are shown crossing and the do not make a connection, but in other cases wires are crossing and they do make a connection. As a technical drawing, this gets a D-minus for that inconsistency.

Now all that said about this lousy drawing and how, as Kevin has shown us, ipso facto, it confuses people, the product itself is a good device.

Thirsty Whaler posted 04-22-2010 04:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Thirsty Whaler  Send Email to Thirsty Whaler     
So,what is the correctly configured wiring diagram for the application? Why would you not want the buss terminal fuses installed on the postive leads at the respective battery terminals?
K Albus posted 04-22-2010 07:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Okay, I've cleaned up my wiring diagram, discussed the matter with Jim H on the telephone for a bit, and reviewed the Blue Sea Systems documents some more.

Here's the cleaner wiring diagram: WiringDiagram-1.jpg

Setting aside the issue of the fuses for now, everything else appears right to me. Can somebody please confirm that it makes no difference which battery the black wire from the motor goes to?

jimh posted 04-23-2010 12:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In the perfect installation the negative lead of the motor would connect to a terminal post on the primary negative distribution bus, which would have really large terminal posts to handle the motor, the A battery negative, the B battery negative, the house branch circuit negative, and perhaps a few more.

It is often seen that the negative bus is created by using the battery negative terminals themselves as the binding post, which means you will end up with two or three connectors on the battery terminal post. This is not the recommended practice, but it works--and many boaters use it.

bluewaterpirate posted 04-23-2010 08:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Here's a picture from my Ventura ..... this is how it came from the factory. Of the 100 plus boats I've installed electronics on all have this type of ground configuration. Image-4892322-31023558-2-Web_0_05ca9b67f589f996d70d309dbd4ec77e_1


K Albus posted 04-23-2010 09:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
My boat has a "grounding block". All of the house circuits are grounded there. But when my boat came from the factory, with its single battery set-up, the black wire from the motor was connected to the "-" terminal on the battery and not the grounding block. Here's the schematic directly from Boston Whaler:

I think you guys are misoverestimating the level of my knowledge of electrical systems. Please assume that I am an utter novice. My question is really of the most basic level. Here it is again: My understanding of what I was trying to accomplish by installing the Blue Sea Systems ACR and battery switch was to completely separate the house circuits from the starting circuit - one battery would be used for starting the motor, and the other battery would be used to run the electronics. It was also my understanding that the ACR would allow a limited connection between the two separate systems for the purpose of allowing the motor's alternator to charge the house battery.

Now, when I look at my system as currently installed, it does not look like two separate systems with only a connection through the ACR. I see two distinct interconnections between the system which do not make sense to me. First, the motor appears to me to be connected to both batteries. The red wire is connected to one battery (which I assume is the starting battery) through the battery switch, and the black wire is connected to the other battery (which I assume is the house battery). Second, the negative terminal posts of the batteries are directly connected to each other.

After speaking with Jim the other day, I think that I know the answer to my question, but I'm not 100% sure. I think the answer is that the negative/ground/black wire connections are not important in the scheme of separating the batteries. All of the grounds/black wires can be connected to each other, including the negative terminals of both batteries. Rather, it is the positive/red wire connections I should be focusing on. As long as the positive/red wire connections for the house circuits are on a separate battery from the positive/red wire connections from the motor, then the house circuits and the motor will be "using" separate batteries. Do I have this right?

jimh posted 04-23-2010 09:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It is very important in a two-battery distribution system that the negative terminals of both batteries be bonded together with a conductor that is as large as the positive conductor feeding the starter motor.
bluewaterpirate posted 04-23-2010 10:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Here's two pictures of Jim's post.

Starting battery connectivity ...... Batteries%20545%20BEP%20716/BatteriesConfig-1.jpg?t=1272033951

House battery connectivity .... the positive cable of the house battery is wired directly to my BEP 716. Batteries%20545%20BEP%20716/BatteriesConfig1-1.jpg?t=1272034178

BEP 716 ....... Batteries%20545%20BEP%20716/BEP7162.jpg?t=1272034232

The BEP 716 works on the same concept as your Blue Sea System.


Thirsty Whaler posted 04-23-2010 11:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for Thirsty Whaler  Send Email to Thirsty Whaler     

Since your Conquest 235 has a pre-rigged Perko battery selector switch. Did you install an ACR? Or, did you remove it and use the BEP 716? I see this is now what the Verado Owner's Group recommendation is. Previously, they had recommended installation of an ACR. I ask, because I am about to order the parts and wiring harnesses do this install on my Conquest.

bluewaterpirate posted 04-23-2010 12:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
My 210 Ventura came with a Perko battery switch from the factory ... I removed it and installed the BEP 716, Blue Se Fuse Buss.

You're really going to like th Blue Seas System.


jimh posted 05-05-2013 10:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
This older thread was revived and its topic changed. The new topic has been separated into its own thread. Please do no revive threads that have been dormant for a long time and then change the topic.

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