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  1. Hello lookking for some advice, I started my boat today and for around 2 hours was all fine. I turned it off for an hour then decided I wanted to take her out. So restarted the engine after 30 mine I smelt burning and could see smoke coming from the starter and it was red hot. after I let it cool I had a tinker around with it & thought I’d start it to check everything was all okay.... my problem is that when I turned the Isolator switch on the engine started! The engine key wasn’t even turned on! Can anyone explain to me what is wrong or why this happened?
  2. 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.
  3. 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I could charge at work and take to the boat to relive some of the usage on the boats battery system as its a little outdated and I'm not ready for the system redesign.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/
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. Over the last few days we find our battery bank (totalling 450Ah, sealed regular batteries) reads 10.0v to 10.4v in the morning after a 2-3 hour charging with the engine the evening before. It usually reads about 12.4v to 12.2v. So I suspect at least one of them is no longer retaining a charge. I know extremely little about electrics. I thought it was likely one of the three batteries would be depleted more than the others, and would disconnect it so we could limp along on two batteries until I can replace them all. Taking a voltage reading across each battery post this evening gives me exactly the same reading (10.4v). So it occurs to me that I am actually reading the entire bank. So, next I'll disconnect them and read each separately. Does this seem like a reasonable course of action? We're cruising for the next month and it would be very much easier to organise the full replacement of the battery bank and delivery to an actual address at the beginning of November. Are we likely to squeeze a month out of two batteries ... or do batteries in a bank tend to deplete at pretty much the same rate over time?
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. Hey guys and gals, I'm sure it's something simple I've done wrong here but I've wired a 12v socket that has 3 cigarette style sockets and 2 usb sockets. I've tried wiring it in to two different connection points, where the lights are wired to and when I connect some things, especially my 12v laptop adapter, all the lights flash like a rave. Does anyone have any suggestions? Do I need to wire something in between to stop the "surge" or am I being too simple with my wiring? Thanks in advance.
  13. 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>
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. From the album: Battery Setup

    Corrected 24v setup
  18. 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
  19. Hi everyone, I recently had a flooded engine compartment (fortunately no major damage) from a leaky weed hatch seal and when I approached my insurance company they said had it reached the alternator or battery bank I would not have been covered. As a student studying an engineering degree I want to come up with a solution to this and thought why not expand it to monitor other systems like the battery, shore power or even security, smoke/fire warnings etc. but my worry in considering the costs of R&D would be "Is this even a real problem?". I'd be really interested to hear of boaters' worries on the water, be it security, batteries discharging, shore power failure, flooding in the engine bay (from rainwater or leaky prop seal)? Or is this merely taken as a risk of boating? If anyone has had a major insurance claim I would like to hear about the circumstances so as to know whether a monitoring system could have alerted and possibly prevented it. I would also like to understand the human cost of a claim like being unable to live on your boat, dry dock costs and just how awkward (or otherwise) it proved. I'd be really interested to hear what everyone thinks, be it pleasure boaters, liveaboard canal boats, hire fleet managers etc. as it will help me make a decision about whether I pursue the prototype to commercial launch. Many thanks in advance for all your help. Chris
  20. A local supplier has a wide range of Leoch batteries. Leoch seem to be a huge Chinese battery manufacturer, but I can't find any reviews, recommendations or caveats of their brand. Has anyone got any experience of using Leoch batteries, how reliable they are, or any background info on the brand ?
  21. Hello all! This question must do the rounds, but i am in the market for new leisure batteries for our liveaboard narrowboat. we have two solar panels, but recently even after cruising we have a shortage of electricity in the evening. seems like they're just not holding their charge (i just got a multi-meter - will test them tomorrow). they are a little over 2 years old anyway. i am planning to fit three new ones - currently we have 2 x 110 ah lesiures but there is space for 3. i have been looking at the numax 110 ah for around 75 quid each, which apparently come off the same shelf as Lucas batteries. What about these traction batteries, although we only have a 55amp alternator. we are pretty careful with the electricity we use, but we have just bought an electric fridge (!) - a Shoreline RR102 (can't find amp/hour usage rates - anyone?). Can we realistically operate this fridge/freezer (along with lights, radio etc) with 3 leisure batteries, running the engine once or twice a day for an hour or two? If not do you have any suggestions? cheers!!
  22. 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.
  23. Hello If I ran a gennie, and wanted to charge one battery to 100% it could take 8hrs. If I want to charge 6 batteries to 100%, should I connect 3 chargers, each going to 2 batteries. Will this speed up the charging process overall, ending up with the batts having a larger individual charge than trying to connect a single charger to all 6 over an 8 hr period. Basically I have a gennie, and want to charge all 6 batts as much as possible over an 8hr period. My charger is only sized for 220AH batteries....but if I had 3 small chargers, I could do it. Please dont tell me to buy a big charger. Got no cash. Just bought gennie. Easier to buy another small charger for now (which will give me 2) and another next month (which will give me 3). Gennie is 2.8kw Alternatively, what will happen if I just connect the 12V output from the gennie onto all 6 batts for a few hours? Thx.
  24. 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
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