PDA

View Full Version : battery problem....stereo


aprgriggs
09-09-2004, 12:46 PM
I always seam to drain my batteries...yes I have two...because of the stereo. I was thinking of upgrading the alternator but I don't what to loose power. Any ideas? and if I change the alternator which one?

I have a MCX engine if that makes a difference.

Footin
09-10-2004, 11:15 AM
Your alternator may not be the fix for this, what kind of batteries are you running? Most dealers install cheap batteries on new boats, if you want a battery for a large stereo system make sure you are useing a deepcycle/starting battery. The reserve capacity of these is much higher than a standerd starting battery and they are designed to be cycled up and down without damaging the plates in the battery.

aprgriggs
09-10-2004, 11:38 AM
I have one standard and one gel cell. Does that help?

I guess I need some better batteries. My stereo guy said that there is a battery that is better than gel cell that I need to replace my batteries with. I don't know anything about batteries. help

bcampbe7
09-10-2004, 11:45 AM
A "stereo guy" will more than likely recommend an Optima battery. Persoanlly I have not used this brand of battery but it is suppose to be pretty good. I know a lot of off-roaders like this brand because it holds it's charge well so they can run all of their extra toys, ie CB's, lights, air compressors, ect when the vehicle is not running. :twocents:

Leroy
09-10-2004, 12:03 PM
How much power are you pumping? Have you calculated the current draw on the battery. From AMP's you are using and amp/hr of battery you can estimate how long you have.

CTPJ
09-10-2004, 12:10 PM
Optima's are great batteries! I have used them in both marine and automotive applications and they work beautifully. I have one battery that has been in two cars. I purchased it in '97 for a Land Rover. When I sold the car I kept the battery and it sat in my garage for almost two years before I put it in a collector car (car started right up). It has never let me down and always starts no matter how long it has sat. :banana:

aprgriggs
09-10-2004, 12:27 PM
I am pushing 1200 watts with the stereo, but I do have a heater, lights, and more... maybe i just need to get some new batteries.

Footin
09-10-2004, 12:49 PM
Optima makes a very good battery. If you get them make sure you get the deep cycle and starting battery. Be ready to fork out about 300 bones for two of them.

bcampbe7
09-10-2004, 01:00 PM
Yeah, Footin I knew they were expensive. Main reason I don't actually own one.
What is the difference in the yellow-top vs red-top? Is one deep cycle?

Footin
09-10-2004, 01:02 PM
Red top is automotive starting battery.

Yellow top is deepcycle/starting.

OhioProstar
09-10-2004, 01:09 PM
I have two different batteries running in mine off a Blue Sea switch. If you run directly to both batteries without an isolator or switch you will have drain problems. I run the amps(700watts) off of a WalMart Everready Yellow(1000cca). The back up is a couple year old Sears diehard marine. I think the switch was $23 and the two extra power wires and one ground wire cost around $25. I simply run on battery #2 every once to keep it charged and make sure to put it on the charger before a trip. Never had a problem starting and have back up in case.

bcampbe7
09-10-2004, 01:12 PM
So aprgriggs should be looking for two yellow top Optimas as replacements???
Are the batteries running down when the engine is running? Could it be that 1200Watts is too much power for the alternator, along with everything else (heater, lights, ect.)? When running the stereo with the engine running do your lights tend to dimm to the beat of the music? Also what is the volt meter on the dash doing?

Footin
09-10-2004, 01:22 PM
I would use the yellow tops, but she should probably talk to the stereo guy about it.

OhioProstar
09-10-2004, 01:26 PM
If she is running two batteries in parallel with no switch or isolator I would remove that as a possiblity first as it can cause a decreased charge to both and then a drain out of both. If that doesn't do it I would probably guess that a larger (100 amp) alternator and a new 110amp circuit breaker would be required.

I think Optima is a Blue Top for marine deep cycle.

aprgriggs
09-10-2004, 02:40 PM
Red top is automotive starting battery.

Yellow top is deepcycle/starting.

so deepcycle/starting is one battery. So I would be spending 600 for two?

Footin
09-10-2004, 02:45 PM
No, they are about 130.00 each.

east tx skier
09-10-2004, 02:46 PM
When my battery kicked last season, my auto mechanic, who is a boat owners said he'd had the best experience with Delco Marine batteries. This is what's currently in my boat. My stereo setup doesn't sound as if it requires as much of the juice as yours does, but just to throw it onto the pile. It's worked for me. Cost was just shy of $70.

Leroy
09-10-2004, 03:05 PM
Holy smokes! Maybe you need a small, no large gas generator on board :rolleyes:

Two new batteries with the switch is a great solution, I sometimes carry one of the portable battery jumpers. You will want a marine battery if you are going to run it dead and start from the second battery. Car batteries loose capacity each time they go dead. However at 1200W and the other accessories you are above what the standard alternator can output. Standard alternators are around 50 amps, you are probably above 100 amps. You probably should have a 150 or 200amp alternator, but it won't be cheap. If you find the reserve capacity rating you could estimate your off time before battery went dead.

B. Reserve Capacity (RC)
The second most important consideration is the Reserve Capacity rating
because of the effects of an increased parasitic (key off) load and in
emergencies. [RC is the number of minutes a fully charged battery at 80 degrees F (26.7 degrees C) can be discharged at 25 amps until the voltage falls below 10.5 volts.] More RC is better in every case! In a hot climate, for example, if your car has a 360 OEM cranking amp requirement, then a 400 CCA rated battery with 120 minute RC with more electrolyte would be more desirable than one with 1000 CCA with 90 minutes of RC.

_JR
09-11-2004, 01:01 AM
aprgriggs -

I am running 1200 watts as well, and installed two Optima batteries for my system and have had NO problems. :D

My current setup consists of a yellow top Optima Deep Cycle battery for my stereo and accessories (2 600 Watt Amps and 4 PIAA Driving Lights), and an Optima Blue Top Marine Cranking battery.

Both are connected to a Perko 3 way battery switch, which you will have to manually "change" to charge your second battery from the engine. To date, I have not been able to fully drain my stereo battery after a full day of use, but I do charge the battery each night.

I have also installed a dual bank battery charger that I plug in each evening to keep the batteries fully charged.

The money for the Optimas is well spent!

H20skeefreek
09-11-2004, 07:51 AM
first of all, let me say that brand does not matter. optima, delco, walmart etc.....don't matter it the same technology they've been using for years (and this is coming from the west marine guy who will try to sell you a more expensive battery)

secondly, whoever said that there is a difference between marine and automotive batteries, whatever you've been told is NOT true. Marine batteries do lose capacity when they've been fully drained. It's the nature of a flooded cell battery.

what you need to do is calculate the amp hour requirements and reserve capacity requirements and find the best AH/biggest battery you can afford and fit.

to figure out amp draw take you wattage/voltage, that gives your amperage draw. 1200watts/12volts is 100 amps. so to run 100 amps for 1 hour w/o recharging you need a 100 amp hour battery. go with a DEEP CYCLE for your stereo. not a deep cycle/starting (aka dual purpose). Get a STARTING for your motor. BUT make sure that your DEEP CYCLE has the MCA (marine cranking amps) that your motor requires (it will at 100AH+) in case of an emergency drain.

go to your local west marine store for a pamphlet on a 2 battery system explaining battery switches, isolators, combiners. It's free!!

aprgriggs
09-11-2004, 08:36 AM
wow..great info

I do have a pergo switch already installed. Yesterday it started up fine but as soon as my stereo came on the battery alarm went nuts. I turned it off and drove around for awhile. I didn't turn it off the engine though....yes I was scared....I had my three month old with me. Her first boat ride, she loved it, slept the whole time. :D

H20skeefreek
09-11-2004, 09:27 AM
wow..great info

I do have a pergo switch already installed. Yesterday it started up fine but as soon as my stereo came on the battery alarm went nuts. I turned it off and drove around for awhile. I didn't turn it off the engine though....yes I was scared....I had my three month old with me. Her first boat ride, she loved it, slept the whole time. :D

If you follow this link, it take you to the west marine "west advisor" page. you can read all about different types of batteries, chargers, switches etc.... while the site IS designed to get you to come in and buy stuff, it's also designed to get you what you NEED, not just the most expensive option.


http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/WestAdvisorListView?storeId=10001&langId=-1&catalogId=10001

NeilM
09-12-2004, 12:21 AM
aprgriggs, it sounds like you have some other kind of problem. If you've got your baby with you, my guess is the music isn't blaring out of the stereo, so if the stereo is driving your alarm nuts (and your batteries are charged and in good condition), something is not right. A 1200w outfit at low volumes won't be consuming anywhere near the capacity of your stock alternator..

Leroy
09-12-2004, 01:34 AM
Aprgriggs; I think your battery is dead, or another problem like a wiring problem, or low alternator output. I can't understand how you can start and then turn the radio on and warning light come on, the alternator should be handling things then.

JimN
09-12-2004, 11:30 AM
aprgriggs- you really haven't given us much info. List the battery brand- CCA rating- how old they are- how many times they have been completely dead -how they are wired to the battery including cable gauge, fuse/circuit breakers and what is connected to each battery. Also list the brand and model(or at least the rated power for each amp.

You may have a situation with multiple issues showing up as one main problem. If the cables aren't heavy enough, the terminals are inadequate or improperly installed and/or the battery + cables are OK but the batteries are sharing their ground on one cable, you will have voltage drop leading to charging difficulties.

Get your batteries load tested. You may have a dead cell or if they have been depleted repeatedly, the cells have a lot of lead sulphate, which eventually builds up to the point of degrading the charge/discharge capabilities of the battery.

aprgriggs
09-12-2004, 03:25 PM
aprgriggs- you really haven't given us much info. List the battery brand- CCA rating- how old they are- how many times they have been completely dead -how they are wired to the battery including cable gauge, fuse/circuit breakers and what is connected to each battery. Also list the brand and model(or at least the rated power for each amp.

You may have a situation with multiple issues showing up as one main problem. If the cables aren't heavy enough, the terminals are inadequate or improperly installed and/or the battery + cables are OK but the batteries are sharing their ground on one cable, you will have voltage drop leading to charging difficulties.

Get your batteries load tested. You may have a dead cell or if they have been depleted repeatedly, the cells have a lot of lead sulphate, which eventually builds up to the point of degrading the charge/discharge capabilities of the battery.


wow....I just gave in and took the boat to the shop...I will let you know

JimN
09-12-2004, 05:49 PM
I wasn't trying to get you to take it in, I think we could have gotten you through this. On the other hand, if the dealer installed the accessories, it is a service warranty issue. If they installed some, but not all of the accessories, maybe they can show you what needs to be rewired and how to do it, then give you a break on the parts/supplies since you just dropped a bunch of money there.

aprgriggs
09-13-2004, 09:43 AM
The dealer has not called me back yet. I told them if it was simple to let me know becasue I wanted to try to fix it myself. The boat will be fixed under warranty, well except for dead batteries. They are just old enough not to be considered.

Fan
09-15-2004, 12:26 PM
Finally something I can throw my $.02 in on. The Optima is an AGM battery. That is absorbed glass mat. That means some really good things for marine applications whether starting or running your stereo. The AGM (and there are other brands out there Lifeline being one, MK Batteries being another) are completely sealed. No need to add water ever! And, more importantly very, very little hydrogen and oxygen being emitted. That means less chance of explosions in the battery compartment and NO corrosion on the terminals. The hydrogen and oxygen produced during charging and discharging is actually recombined into water and replenishes the water in the battery. While gel cell batteries are very vulnerable to overcharges by the alternator, they are looking for 12.8 to 13.2 volts (pressure) your alternator is probably putting out more like 14.5 at times, the AGM is not so sensitive and a much better application for your needs. AGM's are also designed to be charged and totally discharged more frequently than wet acid (normal deep cycle with water). If you totally discharge a wet acid battery (11.8 volts is totally discharged and 12.0 volts is more than half discharged, 12.86 volts is totally charged) you have halved the life of the battery.

There is much, much more, but that is it in the nutshell. I highly recommend an AGM battery for both starting and running the stereo. Just purchase the highest amp/hour AGM for your stereo and the correct size (dimensions ie: group 24 etc.) for your starting battery. Make sure that they are separated by a good and properly sized battery isolator, not just a solenoid. If you use a solenoid to separate the batteries, as soon as you energize the solendoid, the batteries will equalize their charges. Not so good. And isolator has a diode that keeps the two batteries totally separated at all times. Keep them both charged in non-use times with a high quality charger and you will have many years (yes I said years) of use out of this more expensive battery. They are about twice as much as a normal "deep cycle" marine battery, but should last way more than twice as long.

Sorry about being long winded, but I hope this was helpful to you.