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As most you may or may not know I just bought a new boat. I also live in a apartment and charging trolling motor batteries causes a problem seeing how after every trip I have to pull the batteries(2) carry them up stairs, and charge them. I was talking to Terre(TAL0362) and she said I should find a way to charge them from my truck. So I looked and found a product called 'StayNCharge'. It claims to charge your batterys while you drive to and from the lake. Has anyone used this or know anything about it. Ive looked at alot of reviews and have read many forum posts and everyone rages how well it works.

Any input on this??? http://www.stayncharge.com/index.htm

THX

[me=Jay_In_Parker]  [/me]
 

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Jay,

I'm not familiar with the exact product you're talking about but in theory, hooking up a deep cycle/ marine battery to the charging system of your car should be ok as long as the charge is regulated by the adapter device.
       there are a few things to keep in mind though...The alternator in your vehicle is really designed to keep the charge in the electrical system 'topped off' and does best at a relatively low charging rate of 5-20 amps when the vehicle is running. Alternators are capable of charging at very high levels for short periods of time (i.e. to recharge the battery after starting) but these should only be sustained for a few seconds or the alternator will overheat.
        The alternator regulator is designed to charge at full blast until a certain preset voltage is reached. In real world terms this means that if you hook a dead battery up to your car's electrical system the alternator may try and charge it at 100 amps until the voltage comes up enough to reduce the charge, this could easily cook an alternator.
        On top of all this, deep cycle marine batteries do best with a low amp charge ...say 1.5-5 amps. quick charging them is really hard on them and will reduce their life. put a dead deep cycle on the car and the alternator will try to quick charge it which is hard on the alternator and the battery.
         With all of this in mind, I'm assuming that the device you are looking at will somehow regulate the charge to your marine batteries from the alternator thus providing the slow charge you are looking for and not overloading the alternator. if this is the case then it should be perfectly fine to install on your car.
 

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Jay-I can see some problems with this system. Lets say you go to a lake and use your batteries all day and run them down. But the drive home is only 1/2 hr or an hour-not long enought to fully charge them back up. So when you get home you still have to lug them inside and finish the charge. Because if you don't fully charge up the battery , it will degrade it and significantly shorten the life of the battery. Now if the charging system is efficient enough that a 1 hr drive home is long enough to fully charge those batteries, no problems and you're good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thats true. But you have to remember that if it is a half hours home. Thats a half hour charge that is going to the nexe trip.

Half hour home + how ever long it takes on the next trip.


Besides. My boat has a kicker so most of my trolling will be with that. Will mostly use the trolling motor to work structure.

We'll see.


[me=Jay_In_Parker] [/me]
 

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Jay-Thats exactly the problem-you don't want to leave a battery sit that is less than fully charged.
 
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Jay- Have not done it in years but I used to have a connector wired to my truck charging system with an auto re-set overload relay and charged a trolling motor battery coming home from the lake. I'd hate to see you burn up an alternator though so maybe we should talk about me keeping your new boat in my yard. Course it might follow me to the lake once in a while.
 

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Jay,

My dad used something like that with his camper, thats how I knew - twas a long time ago and I haven't any experience with one, but my recollection is it worked great. I don't recall him having problems with his alternator. The other thing you might consider adding is a regulator/rectifier for your kicker, it is about 45 bucks. I just bought one for my yamaha. That converts the output from the magneto to 12 v DC to charge the battery.

Also what Ted said about the alternator topping of batteries isn't quite accurate. I think they are designed to support the entire electrical load of the vehicle and a possible tow vehicle at night and still top off the battery after starting the vehicle in cold weather. Output of 50 or 60 amps is quite a bit, and that is also regulated.

T
 

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TAL0362 said:
Also what Ted said about the alternator topping of batteries isn't quite accurate.  I think they are designed to support the entire electrical load of the vehicle and a possible tow vehicle at night and still top off the battery after starting the vehicle in cold weather.  Output of 50 or 60 amps is quite a bit, and that is also regulated.
Alternators are designed to handle the electrical load of the vehicle but that load is designed to be an amperage that is well within the alternators output range...typically 10-30 amps constantly. the battery in the system actually acts as a 'shock absorber' or capacitor to handle sudden large amperage needs (such as starting) or when a high draw accessory (AC Clutch) is engaged.
     Essentially the alternator runs the car but at a relatively low amperage that's engineered to match the accessories the car has. A side note: the alernator regulates it's charging output via duty (or on-off) cycling that is measured in milliseconds. so that when it's charging it's constantly cycling on and off at full blast a larger or smaller percentage of the time to essentially average total output.  if anyone wants more info, let me know, I actually teach this stuff for a living.
 

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Ted,

I didn't mean to offend, I'm just pointing out that the alternater does support quite an electrical load, especially at night. High beams, all the running lights, stereo systems... etc etc, and all that has to be over desgined...
 

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No worries, I didn't mean to come off snippy...sorry, it's been a loooong week. you are correct in your analysis. O0
 

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farmer ted-You bring up a good point about charging batteries at low amps. My charger has 3 settings, 12, 8 and 2. I have always used the 12 amp to charge-would I get a better charge and be kinder to my batteries if I went down to 8 of even used the 2 setting. Sometimes I don't have time for a slower charge but many times I would.
 

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kirby,

If you're charging an automotive type of battery a slightly faster charge is ok. the plates inside a "starting battery" as it's called are thinner and will accept a fast charge better because of their larger surface area. in other words...a 12-20 amp charge is fine, but a slower 1.5-5 amp charge is better especially if the battery has been run completely dead.

Marine type DEEP CYCLE batteries use relatively thick lead plates to stabilize output and provide longer output at constant amperage draws. a quick charge doesn't really 'penetrate' the thicker plates which leaves you with something called a 'surface charge' which means the battery will appear to be charged but only last for a relatively short time. it is always best to charge a deep cycle battery on the lowest setting you can although sometimes we don't have time.
 

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ted-Thanks for the info-no more 12 amps for me-I'm going to 8 and 2 if I have the time.
 

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farmer ted could you quote some sources for this info you present as it goes against most every thing i have learned dealing with battery banks on ocean going boats


1 we have always strived to charge our banks with a charge equal to 20% of the ah rateing of the bank for example a 200 amphour bank we would use a 40amp charge give or take

supporting quote from  http://www.ibsa.com/www/faqs/tech_talk/maintenance/charging.htm

What's the best way to charge deep cycle batteries? The maximum charger rate in amps should be 20% of the amp hour rating of the battery.


Normally, deep cycle batteries do not require special charging procedures. However, we recommended that you use a charger designed specifically for deep cycle batteries. It is best to slow charge all batteries, especially deep cycle. The 20% rule should be used when charging a deep cycle battery. That means to choose a charger where the maximum current (in amps) is less than 20% of the Ah rating. For example, an Interstate SRM-27 is rated at approximately 100 Ah, so a 20-amp charger should be the maximum. Also, it is best to use a charger that is adequate to recharge the battery within 10-12 hours
more important is voltage finding a charger with adjustable voltage allows you to set the proper voltage for the different stages of charging

here is a voltage table from the trojan battery website

Table 2. Charger Voltage Settings for Flooded Batteries

System Voltage 12V
Daily Charge 14.8
Float 13.2
Equalize 15.5


and as far as burning up auto alternators i have run a 35 amp auto alternator on a 5hp briggs full feilded (full output) as a portable charging station for my cabin for years running 8hours per day attleast 100 days a year and i have reringed the motor twice and had no probs from the alternator and on my old fishing boat (36ft twin diesle) i had a pair of 200 amp alternators (1 on each engine) using 3 stage regulators and when we were away from shore the average amp load was over 200 amps running all the lights pumps inverters dc ice maker inverter and other cant live with out goodies and never had any probs with the alternators

so before you guys change the way you charge your batteries dont take my word for it or anyone elses do some searches on the net about charging batteries and make sure you learn how to charge the batteries you have since leadacid batteries wheather auto, marine or tru deep cycle require different settings even different maufactures sugest different settings for there batteries they also use different terms like "amp hour" vs "20 hour amp hour" do you know the difference or is there? and if you have a tru sealed battery like the gell cells then there are a whole different range of settings youll notice in 1 quote above they suggest full charge be completed in 10-12 hours max it wouldnt take a very large battery and a 2 amp charger could not finish up in that amount of time

its been a few years since i was on the sea but if anyone would like i would be happy to dig out my sources and elaborate further
 

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I'm thoroughly confused now. :mad:
 

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If a battery manufacturer gives giudelines for charging their batteries, then, obviously you can follow them. I don't claim to be an electrical engineer and everyone's experience is different. I was just trying to be helpful and pointing out some general rules that could benefit some people.

the only point I was trying to make was that as a general rule: the lower of a rate you charge ANY battery, the better it is for the battery. and the lower output an alternator runs the better it is for the alternator.

I probably got carried away, my bad.
 

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farmer ted said:
the only point I was trying to make was that as a general rule: the lower of a rate you charge ANY battery, the better it is for the battery.
this "general rule" is way inaccurate charging a battery to slow is just as bad as to fast

you are correct in saying automotive type chargers are not the best for recharging deep cycle batteries they work ok in cars to keep the battery charged and provide extra power for accesories

you have to be carefull if you use automotive type chargers as they will hurt batteries due to high voltage if left on to long regardless of the amps

i checked out the stay n charge web site and they dont give much info but it sounds like it will use not only the tow vehicals charging system but also the main boat engine also

you could do the same thing with some wiring and battery isolators just like what you would use for setting up dual batteries in your truck only the second battery is in the boat
 

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I disagree but I'm done with this thread. that's all I'm going to say about that.
 

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im always up for learning new thing so point me in the direction of some supporting documentaion for your ideas
 
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