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  1. Hello! Is it straight forward to replace / install a new starter battery to a narrowboat? How do I find out which battery to buy and is there a specific procedure to follow when it comes to removing the old one and fitting the new replacement? Thanks
  2. Hi there! My sealed lead acid batteries are nearly six years old and unfortunately they won’t hold their charge so Ive done a lot of research and just bought two AGM deep cycle 150aH batteries to replace my current two 200aH lead acid. My battery charger is a fairstone ABC1230 Fully Automatic 5 Stage and I’m pretty confident they’re compatible. My last fear is that I haven’t changed my starter as it’s still in good health but it is lead acid. Will having two battery types negatively effect the health of my batteries?
  3. Hi all, sorry to jump on this but you guys seem to know what you are on about. I have just installed a NASA BM1, I have 2 110ah batteries connected in parallel (connected neg to neg), wired up correctly with NO other negatives on the batteries part from the wire to the black and white side of the shunt. When everything is turned off the battery is displaying discharge of 0.01amps and when charging it goes pass 100% (to roughly 105%). I have a 100w solar panel installed (it’s giving me 0.4amps of charge due to living in Yorkshire with crap weather this time of year). The neg from the solar is also Connected to the yellow end of the shunt. Should the neg from both battery’s be connect to the black and white end of the shunt or connected together with one wire going to the black and white end? Is all this right? Have I done something wrong. Thanks in advance everyone.
  4. Hi all Just thought I'd post a battery build that I've written an instructables guide for. I wanted to build a portable battery that I could charge at work and take to the boat to relive some of the usage on the boats battery system as its a little outdated and I'm not ready for the system redesign. Its working nicely running all my low to medium voltage equipment and means I'm not enjoying anyone in the evening with the engine noise and smoke. see the link below if your interested and your thoughts would be most appreciated https://www.instructables.com/12V-Lithium-Ion-18650-55ah-Portable-Battery/
  5. Can you put a 12v battery onto an inverter and put a battery charger from the same inverter so it loops and provides a continuous charge. I live on a narrowboat and pondering the question. Thank you.
  6. I have recently bought a narrowboat with a semi trad stern where the engine lives under deck boards at the stern. The boat had a battery charger fitted in the cabin that led back to the battery bank in the engine hole via a length of wire that had been cut and joined in several places and as a result was about 8 feet long and then crocodile clips to attach it to the batteries as needed. Having had to use the charger ashore it transpired that it was dead and I have invested in a very snazzy thing with the intention of having it permanently connected as it says it was suitable for this. Reading the instructions it says that if doing this you need to remove the crocodile clips and replace them with rings. No problem with that. It also says you should not extend the wires as the voltage drop would make the unit ineffective - I also understand (I think) why that would be. The charging wires are about 3ft long and wont reach from the cabin to the battery bank. So I am thinking of locating a 240v socket in the engine hole and connecting the charger there. Only thing is do I then run into problems if gas is given off in charging and the presence of diesel etc? In an ideal world I would put the charger in the cabin and then I can see what it is doing without disappearing in the the engine hole. Anyone else had this problem and what solution did you come up with? Thanks
  7. So.. for the last few days our engine has been kicking out white fumes from the exhaust and seeming much noisier from it too. So thinking it could be water in the fuel I drained both fuel filters and continued on our way. The smoke returned 15mins into cruising and even spat out a little black when going astern into the locks. So We gave her a rest. By the morning our starter battery didn't have enough charge to turn over the engine and we had to charge it from our genny. Even tho we have the starter isolated all the time when not running? The battery isolator is new from amazon? But we remove the key so surely that cannot drain it? today we charged the starter off the genny and eventually got her started. She blew white smoke for the hour and a half cruise to bedwyn and we stopped. We decided we could try checking the valve clearances, not easy as we couldn't find the tdc for each valve. But then after only 2 hours moored the engine again wouldn't tick over! And each time the key turned in the ignition you could watch the battery voltage dropping on the starter and even on the leisure battery readers. we are baffled! I am guessing they are two separate issues, the smoke and the batteries draining. But it feels so coincidental to all happen at once. any advice or ideas would be great. Or anyone near bedwyn on the k&a willing to help would be great too!
  8. Just a shout to the battery experts on the forum. I know it's not a boat, but my firend's mother's car would not start so I went round to jump start it. out of curiosity, I put a voltmeter on it just to see what it said.. it said 9.1V ! I don't know if it is any special type (eg Calcium silver.. or bog standard Lead) but at 9.1V, is it likely to be trashed ? The car did jump start OK, and was left running for 20 mins before I had to go. She did take it for a run later that day and it started OK.
  9. Hi. Firstly, we are CC's with no hookup. I have a Victron 12/3000/120 inverter charger, Victron BMV602s battery monitor, 110amp alternator, Honda 1kw generator, Victron 30amp solar controller with 3x 100w solar panels. I have fitted 4x new Yuasa 115amp hr batteries. These are set as first set had faults within a few weeks (from Halfords are the batteries). When I charge the batteries from alternator, the BMV shows about 70amp initially and over a few hours reduces down to about 5-6 amp tail current. Charge voltage is about 14.3 volts. The BMV shows 100%. I always leave the engine running longer to see the tail current low as possible. I sometimes use the Honda generator to top up the batteries making sure they reach float status. Although the BMV shows say 70amps used since 100% charge and SOC still says about 90% charge, the battery voltage is down to below 12 volts. We have a 240v fridge freezer (new) running off the inverter plus some TV, led lights and phone charging, the actual current since last recharge (from the BMV) is correct I assume? Could it just be duff batteries again? Any ideas?
  10. I'm sure everyone remembers my poor charging regime and the lengthy thread that ensued. I'm still using my set of somewhat reduced capacity 4x110ah batteries - a couple hours engine running in the morning, a couple in the evening, and then switch off the 240v (including fridge) at night. This gives me enough laptop time in the evening, led lights and various pumps etc. So, for now carrying on quite happily - but I have noticed a new phenomenon creeping in lately. Today for example: I ran the engine for an hour or so when I got up (with 240v back on as normal). I then cruised for 3 1/2 hrs. A couple hours later, and my batteries are already back down to 12.3v so I have fired up the engine again. What I am saying is this - it would appear that the leisure batteries are not getting much (or any?) charge when I'm cruising. I can't think what this could be but I'm sure someone will enlighten me - be gentle! Just to re iterate - I know the batteries have reduced capacity, but a couple hours charging off the engine normally sees them up to say 12.8v which lasts all day or all evening. Even on longer cruises, they don't seem to get as much charge as when the engine is just running in neutral. I have two alternators, 50a for engine, 175 for leisure.
  11. We currently have four 6 volt leisure batteries and they seem to be in a bit of sorry state, with one of them bubbling acid and therefore potentially dangerous. Two of these batteries are Trojan T-105 and the other two appear to be cheaper unbranded alternatives. Due to other ongoing expenses on the boat we're looking to replace these with minimum cost and are thinking of putting in two 12v batteries instead. I'd be grateful for any advice on this and recommendations regarding specific batteries that would be suitable alternatives. As far as i understand the Trojan T-105 batteries have a very high 225ah capacity, giving us a total capacity of 450ah if replaced like for like, compared with probably about half that if replaced with two reasonable quality 12v alternatives, but I suspect we could probably get away with this. We've only been boating for a couple of months and it would be interesting to read the advice of others and to learn what set-ups they use themselves.
  12. Hi all, We currently have 3 x 125ah leisure batteries powering the fridge, lighting (mostly LED) and water/waste pumps. The bank is charged by a single solar panel through an EPSolar MPPT charge controller. This was fine during the summer but with winter fast approaching we are finding that come the morning there isn't enough juice to power the pumps for a shower. We are mostly marina based so would like to add in a mains charger to top up the batteries once night falls. Electricity is metered so would only want to charge from shore power when necessary. Currently we achieve this by attaching a car battery charger using crocodile clips - it works but isn't a viable long term solution. The charger only has trickle or fast charge and is manually selected. I was also a little wary that I might be sending current to the solar panel instead of away from it, but it hasn't blown up yet So, my questions are: Is there such a device available that I can connect both the solar and a 240V charger to and it automatically selects which input to charge the batteries with, prioritising the solar? Maybe even with automatic health programming to allow the batteries to discharge periodically to keep them healthy? Failing that, if I just get a decent 240V charger that automatically switches charge mode, will there be any problems permanently connecting that directly to the batteries in addition to the solar, and just turn it on when required? Or should I connect them via, say, a rocker switch to manually change from solar charging or 240V charging? What fuses would be required? Can someone recommend a decent multistage 240V charger? I'm sure I'll think of something else as soon as I've posted this, but it will do for starters :-) Thanks in advance.
  13. Wow! So.... the list of jobs as long as all of the amputated and lined up arms of all the lovely people I've ever kissed (but not dismembered) continues to grow. It's four weeks since we bought our boat! Today's job was to inspect and top-up the batteries. We have, or, had, four Trojan 150AH batteries, arranged in 12V parallel. I knew that the wiring was shoddy, as it is everywhere on the boat, but wasn't quite expecting this! This battery was at the accessible end of the bank... as such, it had both positive and negative cables from the solar controller attached to it. There was no electrolyte present when I checked two days ago. The battery drank a good 1.5 litres, and did not smell good. I have looked at the mess of cables that the bank was before, and even noticed that there was corrosion present on this one, though I did not notice the hole. It's possible that the hole appeared in the day since I added water, or that I couldn't see it without pulling it out of the box (fairly hard to get to). The other three batteries in the bank needed topping up, but were not dry. I've now cleaned all the contacts, removed lots of needless cable, and hooked the solar charge cables up to separate ends of the bank. Needless to say, the one with the hole in has been removed from service. Any ideas why this happened? Was it the charging cables attached to + and - of the same battery? Possible leak from a cap?..... it certainly looks like acid....
  14. I am new to my boat and still working out what needs to stay and what needs to go. There are 2 leisure batteries on board but I am not convinced that they are in the best of shape as they run out of charge quite quickly, but they do work . I want to change it to a bank of 4. If I were to buy two new ones is there anything wrong with connecting with the old ones or should it be a case buying 4 new ones?
  15. We have a Victron Phoenix Multiplus 12v/3000 inverter charger, connected to 5 AGM batteries (675ah) monitored by the BMV 602. For the last five years it has worked very well. Normally whilst cruising the domestic bank of batteries is charged up by the large DC alternator (we have a smaller DC alternator for the starter batteries and an AC alternator with a Dometic travelpower). We normaly lose about 18% charge overnight and the DC alternator begins putting in about 80 ah's dropping to about 16 after 4 or 5 hours cruising. It drops lower slowly and if it remains constant for about 15 mins it is considered full (although i know this is not strictly true). I occasionally sync the BMV, once I now the batteries are as charged as they can be, usually when on shorepower and no real load. Occasionaly whilst running AC appliances (washing machine, or carpet sweeper) the Amp/hour rate goes up by 10 to 15 % the multiplus taking the extra energy from the AC alternator. This becomes negligble fairly quickly. Our problem now appears to be that the BMV does not read the output from the alternator. In winter we normally fully charge the batteries and leave some greenhouse heaters in the boat connected to the shorepower. The battery bank has very little load so we visit once a month to run the engine and charge up the batteries amongst other maintenance tasks. On our recent visit the BMV state of charge showed 74% initially but as soon as I started the engine the display changed to 100% in seconds. The rate of charge/discharge showed +3 ah dropping quickly to +1ah not the +80 plus ah as expected and normal. I considered that the alternator wasnt working but it appeared to be doing so, I started up the travelpower and put a load on the AC system and that should have had an impact on the BMV but didnt. I dont think either alternator has failed so my thoughts are that the BMV must have reset itself or shorted out somehow. It later showed a minus value as some of the lights were on in the boat. All indicators show that the BMV is not reading any input. The values held in the memory of the BMV show the same as previously I.E. the total AMP Hours of the battery bank. It seems like the BMV is not reading the input from the alternators. A blown fuse or similar is what we are hoping is the solution but where to look is our problem before we call in a Victron trained engineer This year the boat has seemed colder but we have used the same regime in other marinas. Any thoughts gratefully accepted regards Malcolm & Anne
  16. Hello, I've been having a bit of trouble with charging recently. My batteries are quite low, and the alternator doesn't seem to be charging them enough. The alternator kicks out 13v max (even when charging for a few hours). I don't have a generator or battery charger to whizz them up to full so relying on the alternator. I've ordered a clamp-on ammeter to see what sort of power the alternator is kicking out (and see if something is shorting and draining power), and have inquired with a tacho seller to check if his tacho will work with my alternator, to check the RPM. I was wondering if someone could clear up the connections on the back of my alternator. The connections are on page 33... http://www.prestolite.com/literature/alts/PP1184_Buyer_Guide_alt.pdf I currently have 2 spade connectors coming from the two ++ "European Output Connections", and one from the excitation terminal. What are the AUX and B+ connectors for? Also, I don't have a connector for the battery temperature sensing terminal - should I have one? PS. Does anyone know if this tacho should just simply work by connecting to the W connector? Still waiting on a reply from the seller... http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tachometer-Rev-Counter-0-6000-RPM-Alternator-Driven-Type-With-W-Terminal-/371043881967?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item5663f053ef Thanks a lot, mibix
  17. Juno's outboard needs a new starter battery - the old one was my car battery (now departed VW Golf) that had ceased to be in the car when I couldn't rely on it any more, so not that surprising really. What does the forum recommend to start a Yamaha 9.9 long leg outboard? I suspect any small car battery will do the job but would welcome confirmation. The present car doesn't need a new battery. so it won't be a hand me down (although I guess there may be logic in replacing the car battery and cascading the old one - car is a rover 214)
  18. Hi. I want to build a strictly leisure battery bank with two 70Ah batteries and 2500watt inverter that will be used only for things like kettle, low power microwave, digital gadgets like phones and laptops, maybe cool box from time to time. I do not want to connect my new leisure bank to the boat's engines and intend to charge it by petrol generator only. I have an area near helm where I can place batteries and inverter - like a wooden box/cupboard. My question is... do I have to ground the batteries and the inverter? Thanks, t.
  19. Just had some repairs and service done on my Lister SR2 engine after it completely packed up and have now noticed that the batteries are reaching up to 17volts when at full throttle with the battery selector switch set to ‘both’ or position 1 (leisure batteries). If I select position 2 (starter battery) then it is around 14v as normal. Both sets of batteries have taken quite a hammering recently with the number of times the engine had been cranked prior to the repair so did wonder whether a fault had developed on one of the leisure batteries causing it to over charge? I then disconnected the batteries and checked the voltage and they were all around 13 volts. I always keep the batteries charged on shore power but it seems strange that it would register such high voltage so was thinking more likely the alternator. As far as I’m aware it wasn’t touched when the repairs were done as the injectors and fuel system were causing the original problem. Any help most appreciated. Wakes.
  20. AvE explains battery repairs using epsom salts (some language you might not want your mum to hear) and why it rarely works. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAD_mTtcKSM">YouTube</a>
  21. Is there a way to have leisure batteries automatically isolated when they fall bellow a specified charge? Having the lights go out would be a good fail-safe to know when to charge them up again. Our setup is as follows: BMV-501 battery monitor Victron energy multi plus inverter EP Solar, with MT50 display Many thanks in advance Pete
  22. I'm continuing to sort out the wiring in my engine bay and have successfully rewired the VSR to charge leisure first rather than starter, removed a pile of cables that had been left behind by previous owners adding/removing bits organically, added fuses where there were none, and isolators where I would like them - hoorah! The last thing I would like to do is add an isolator switch to the starter battery and am wondering what rating this needs to be. According to the Bukh manual the starter is: Gear Driven 1KW output. So, would that roughly translate to 1000/12 = 83amps, and is that continuous or is the cold crank current likely to be say double/treble to get it moving? The switch I was going to use is rated: Rated at 300A continuous (1 hour) at 48V DC and 1000A for 5 seconds. Thank you
  23. My starter battery has gone belly up (showing 6.5v so guessing 3 dead cells but I'll save that for another thread) and the Bukh DV36 manual recommends an 88ah battery which I have duly ordered. As yet I haven't worked out what killed the battery but it's always bothered me somewhat that both start and leisure banks are isolated by a single 2 pole switch on the negative side, this means I can't isolate just one bank. Now I know I could swap this out for a 3 position switch but that would be a major ball ache so am going to add a separate isolater switch on the starter battery side which will then allow me to switch off just the starter battery and leave the leisure bank on. Since the boat rarely moves from the marina there's no reason why the starter battery needs to be permanently connected and by isolating it i can prevent any drain between the 2 banks - not that I have any evidence yet of this happening but since I'm fitting a new battery I may as well take an extra precaution. So the question is, can I put the isolation switch on the positive side or does it have to be on the negative? Thanks David
  24. I have recently been given a Victron battery monitor BMV600 and am looking to add it to the boat. The installation of the shunt seems simple enough if you have one battery but with a bank of three domestic batteries there are options available and I am concerned to choose the best one. Looking at the current wiring of the domestic batteries it doesn't seem that the batteries are currently wired in the best configuration (though I'm not sure about that). I'm aware of the Smartgauge site and Option 2 where the positive and negative 'take-offs' should be diagonally opposite one another and that seems to be what I have presently (1st image) Intuition suggests that the alternator connections ought to be made in a similar sort of way but that is not presently the case; they being connected to the middle battery of the three. I'm thinking that the shunt should be added with some minor changes (as shown in image 2) but am not at all sure about this. I've looked at info about alternators/charging/etc on this and other sites but have not found any info that gives me the confidence to proceed with this change. Any comments would be most welcome. There are two alternators on the Isuzu engine which appear to charge the starter and domestic batteries separately. Thanks in anticipation of some helpful advice
  25. When connecting a new bilge pump direct to the batteries, my spanner accidentally touched the the hull whilst loosening the positive battery terminal. This resulted in a small, but very definite spark, which puzzles me. I didn't think there was any contact between batteries and hull, so why would I get a spark? I do not have any shore power circuits (do have a small inverter though). Does this spark indicate something might be wrong? Any enlightenment would be appreciated.
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