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View Full Version : Low voltage HELP! Bigger Alternator?


x30murray
07-09-2012, 02:24 PM
Ok so I have two 15s(Kicker comp vrs), NVS entity tower speakers, 6 amps, my stereo likes to shut off with that low voltage alarm when I turn my subs or the volume up. I currently have 6 batteries should I add a couple more or a install a bigger alternator? Or both? Whats the best high output alternator? I can watch my voltage on my capictor drop to 12 volts if my subs hit decently hard then the low voltage alarm sounds and shuts off my stereo. So what should I do its killing me?! Whats the point of having a massive system if you cant turn it up!? :mad:thanks guys!

MLA
07-10-2012, 08:13 PM
Murry,

What batteries do you have and what is thier age, are you replenishing them with a shore charger of some kind and please detail how the 6 batteries are wired and configured into the boats electrical system. Also, how do you use the system.......do you spend most of your time at anchor playing or do you spend time both running and at anchor? Theres no magic bullet, lots of factors can impact the performance of a battery bank. Theres also no one size fits all battery bank solution.

You may have a couple of bad batteries that are preventing the entire bank from reaching a full charge. It may be worth having them tested with an inductance tester. I would not use the old style "toaster" tester with the heater grid. I would also have the alternator's output tested.

I would also consider removing the CAP. With a 6-battery stereo bank, the CAP is not really needed.

JimN
07-10-2012, 08:42 PM
Ok so I have two 15s(Kicker comp vrs), NVS entity tower speakers, 6 amps, my stereo likes to shut off with that low voltage alarm when I turn my subs or the volume up. I currently have 6 batteries should I add a couple more or a install a bigger alternator? Or both? Whats the best high output alternator? I can watch my voltage on my capictor drop to 12 volts if my subs hit decently hard then the low voltage alarm sounds and shuts off my stereo. So what should I do its killing me?! Whats the point of having a massive system if you cant turn it up!? :mad:thanks guys!

Describe the system's wiring- what's connected to the dash wiring, what's connected to the battery? If any amp is powered by dash wiring, it needs to be re-wired. Personally, I would run one heavy cable to the amps, a separate + and - wire to the head unit from the amp distribution block with a relay to switch that + on when you turn the key or accessory switch on and keep everything on the same circuit, so you don't need to worry about ground loops and load.

A massive system makes demands that the stock charging system can't handle and was never designed for. If you don't upgrade this and any other applicable circuits, the system will never live up to its potential. You'll need to provide a lot more info if anyone is to help you.

RkyMtnSkier
08-08-2012, 10:41 PM
Murray-
Not sure what year your boat is, but I am having issues with my MMDC. I have a simple setup, with two amps and my alarm goes off, even with nothing running. I have a brand new battery that is pushing 12.75 volts when the alarm goes off.

I agree with Jim that you need to upgrade your charging system, but if it is pushing enough voltage the alarm shouldn't be going off. Been trying to figure out the same problem (with a much smaller system) so I wish you luck.

x30murray
08-17-2012, 05:23 PM
Ok guys I have six deep cycle marine batts only 6 months old. I have 5 wired together in series(mastercraft did it) they are all coming off my b side of my isolator switch then I have one that is wired directly to the a side of the switch to just use to start the boat. I have a stinger 3 way capacitor for my big amps then I have then smaller one that runs my mains hooked up directly off one bat. All wired with zero gauge. I have a equalizer that everything runs off of rather than then head unit. I usually use my system at anchor more than anything. I was looking into a 6 bank charger as well as the alternator. Any ideas?

MLA
08-17-2012, 05:43 PM
Ok guys I have six deep cycle marine batts only 6 months old. I have 5 wired together in series(mastercraft did it) they are all coming off my b side of my isolator switch then I have one that is wired directly to the a side of the switch to just use to start the boat. I have a stinger 3 way capacitor for my big amps then I have then smaller one that runs my mains hooked up directly off one bat. All wired with zero gauge. I have a equalizer that everything runs off of rather than then head unit. I usually use my system at anchor more than anything. I was looking into a 6 bank charger as well as the alternator. Any ideas?

1) regardless of what you do alternator wise, you need to rely on shore charging to replenish those 5 house batteries. Starting the day with a fully charged house bank is a must, and an alternator will not accomplish this with a short ride back to the dock the night before or a short ride to the party spot the next trip out.
2) Since you house bank is tied into the boat system through the switch (Im betting your X30 also has an ACR/VSR) I would consider putting in an ON/OFF switch between the one house battery thats connected to the switch and the other four. When the house bank is deeply depleted, the switch will allow you to isolate 4 of the house batteries from the alternator, thus relieving some load from it. This allows the one house battery to get some charge before bringing the other 4 back on line. The amp's trunk line will need to be terminated to this one battery so the stereo continues to play.
3) in a boat with a large house bank where most of the stereo play time is at rest with the engine off, CAP's really do not do much for us. There voltage level will only be as high as the static state of the entire battery bank. They also be a drain on the system during storage.

JimN
08-17-2012, 06:40 PM
Ok guys I have six deep cycle marine batts only 6 months old. I have 5 wired together in series(mastercraft did it) they are all coming off my b side of my isolator switch then I have one that is wired directly to the a side of the switch to just use to start the boat. I have a stinger 3 way capacitor for my big amps then I have then smaller one that runs my mains hooked up directly off one bat. All wired with zero gauge. I have a equalizer that everything runs off of rather than then head unit. I usually use my system at anchor more than anything. I was looking into a 6 bank charger as well as the alternator. Any ideas?

You DO NOT have 5 batteries wired in series- that would give you 5 times the voltage of one battery. MC did that, or the dealer? It's not the same thing.

Yes, you need a bigger alternator. The OEM unit is sized fro nothing like what you're throwing at it. You'll also need a larger charging lead because what's there isn't even close to what you need. Your whole audio system should be connected to the same batteries, not part of it connected to the starting battery and the rest connected to the others. The way it sounds, whoever wired it doesn't understand this.

EarmarkMarine
08-18-2012, 11:55 AM
Six bank charger? Not with paralleled batteries. You won't have isolated charging as you would with seriesed batteries in an open circuit. You only need a two bank charger although with the current capacity that you need it's likely to be a three bank and used as a two bank. You are looking at somewhere between a 40 and 80 amp AC shore charger depending on the collective amp/hour capacity of your six batteries.

David

bobx1
08-18-2012, 07:23 PM
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slick9191
08-26-2012, 05:18 PM
You DO NOT have 5 batteries wired in series- that would give you 5 times the voltage of one battery. MC did that, or the dealer? It's not the same thing.

Yes, you need a bigger alternator. The OEM unit is sized fro nothing like what you're throwing at it. You'll also need a larger charging lead because what's there isn't even close to what you need. Your whole audio system should be connected to the same batteries, not part of it connected to the starting battery and the rest connected to the others. The way it sounds, whoever wired it doesn't understand this.

Yup... as soon as I saw the word 'series' the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I could only think that he 1) meant parallel or 2) they actually were wired like this (http://api.ning.com/files/z7p*2Eb8aYPKTNGg2Hg-jm*uUFJcQhVH2QzKFrtyHtt2g70HUxUSdwYU6*vA*c5dg8YoRD Bdv-ABDCU0PE8998x9CFHgcuB*/Batteries6voltwiredinSeriesParallel.gif) which I doubt.

You are having some serious bottlenecks if 5 batteries can't handle that load. I would re-re-re-look over your wiring and figure out where the bottlenecks start because they will care over to your amps. I would personally upgrade your alternator if you are trying to charge that many batteries while running them hard with your music... but that's not going to fix your alarm problem because you should be able to run your system with the engine off@12 volts and not have the alarm trip. The alternator will increase your voltage, thus, increase the power output from the amps.