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My 900W Coffee Maker is Triggering the Low Voltage Alarm, on Sep 05, 2017 asked:

My commercial salmon troller has a 1600W inverter drawing from a single 8D lead-acid battery which is isolated from the two other 8Ds at night when on anchor and the engine is off. The engine has an 80A alternator and is usually running 16-18 hours per day. The biggest load we put on the inverter is a 900W standard coffee maker, which we only use while the engine is running. While brewing coffee the voltage reading on the inverter display is usually in the mid 11s and the low voltage alarm occasionally starts going off. The voltage goes right back up when the coffee is done brewing. Is this type of use bad for the battery or hard on the inverter? I have size 4 cables going to the inverter, which is what the installation manual called for, and the run is only about 3 feet. - David

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Can I Run LED Lights in Series?, on Aug 01, 2017 asked:

I recently purchased some LED fixtures that would like to wire them into an existing circuit, however they would be in series. Is this advisable with LED’s? -Tom

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Automatic Combiner Relay or Voltage Sense Relay, on Dec 01, 2016 asked:

Hi Jeff, I met you the other day while you were performing an Electrical Audit on a friend’s boat. You mentioned a product that allows you to direct excess power from one battery to another when charging. What is this called and how hard is it to install. – Rob

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Our 12V Nova Kool Fridge Shuts Down Periodically, on Jul 12, 2016 asked:

Our 12V Nova Kool fridge shuts down periodically on its own accord. Sometimes while plugged in at the dock sometimes at anchor. Last year we installed a new thermostat switch and new house batteries. This last weekend we came into dock and discovered a defrosted fridge. We played with the thermostat switch inside the fridge and nothing. Then turned off the fridge at the electrical panel and turned it back on again and it started right away. Any thoughts? - John

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Fluctuating Amperage, on May 31, 2016 asked:

I have a video of my charger display while the engine is running. At 2000 rpm, it shows that the charging voltage is constant (4.19 for the starter battery and 14.28 for the house bank), but the amperage is fluctuating all over the place, from 9.2 to 11.8A, sometimes settling around 10.4, but then fluctuating again. I understand, from our conversation, that this is not unusual? - Tim

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How Does an Automatic Combiner Relay Work with an Inverter – Daryn, on Apr 30, 2015 asked:

My port starting battery was receiving a charge from the inverter even though it was not hooked up to the inverter. Could this be coming back though a shared device? If that is in fact the case would that also mean the starting battery is discharging when the inverter is in use?

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Odd Battery Monitor Behaviour – Brian, on Feb 22, 2015 asked:

A quick regarding my battery monitor showing negative 60+ amps for the start battery, a group 31. I was concerned so put a meter on and it's showing 13.4 Volts which the float voltage. The two things don't seem to make sense? I am away for a month so am not too concerned as I think if I was truly losing amps the voltage would be down. The start battery is a new group 31 which I believe is a 250 amp battery.

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Jeff – Windlass Problem, on Aug 24, 2014 asked:

The issue is electrical as the windlass spins freely. There is a DC bus under the forward berth. Both the forward battery and the stern house batteries are connected to this bus. The windlass and the thruster are the only loads coming off of this bus. The windlass manual says that it uses a 100 Amp motor. The manual says that the appropriate wiring is 2/0 for runs up to 50 ft. The cable run from the bow battery and the 2 stern house batteries to the forward bus is 4/0. The cable run from the forward bus to the windlass (about 10 ft.) is 2/0. So the cabling is oversize for the application. We were able to recreate the problem at the dock by unwrapping the chain from the gypsy and running the windlass. So with no chain or anchor weight the motor would initially run and full speed then, after 30 seconds or so, start to run slower and slower until I could almost stop it by grabbing it with my hand. We tried this with all 3 batteries connected, with just the forward battery and with just the 2 aft batteries. In all cases the engine was running. The engine alternator was putting out about 14.2 V. and was putting out about 25 A. When the windlass was running the alternator output jumped to about 52 A. The voltage at the forward bus was about 13.3 V and would drop to around 12.1 V with the windlass running. The windlass motor was almost too hot to touch after these tests. I took the motor out and removed and inspected all of the brushes. They looked ok to me. After reconnecting to shore power the charger did jump into bulk charging at about 110 A for the first 10 seconds or so. This suggests to me that a lot of energy was pulled from these batteries. I did disconnect all of the connections (Pos & Neg) at the forward bus and cleaned all of the contact surfaces. I did not test again after doing this. I also did not check the voltage drop along the positive and negative cables from the bus to the windlass as I was out of time I am thinking that the motor may be on its last legs. The windlass motor is a 1200 W motor. We have had no trouble lifting the anchor and chain for the 4 years we have had the boat. This is the same windlass they have been putting on these boats for years and I have never heard of any complaints with lifting power. I can recreate the slowing down without any chain attached so don’t see a need to add the weight at this point. I know it is not mechanical as the gypsy spins for 2-3 revolutions after I release the switch. I will take the motor to an alternator shop and see what they can find. Any other suggestions?

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Allen – Echo Charge, on Mar 05, 2014 asked:

Further to our conversation at the Boat Show and the Electrical Audit December 2013 I set up to installed an Echo Charge a few months ago. Referring to the Volvo Penta website, apparently the D2-55 alternator does not read voltage at the engine, but at the battery, eliminating the voltage drop problem and the need for special devices to compensate for drops in the isolator and cable runs.

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John, on Aug 21, 2013 asked:

My sailboat has 2 new 4D batteries, a 70ah starting battery and a Xantrex battery monitor. After I replaced the batteries I reset the Xantrex. Everything is working fine but over the last few months the battery monitor has slowly gone from the normal 100% to 99%. Jeff suggested I check the link shunt for proper installation and it appears to be OK (all connections are downstream of the shunt). Any suggestions as to why the battery monitor is indicating less than fully charged batteries?

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