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charging 24 volt trolling motor batterys

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hey i have a minnkota 65 power drive trolling motor. its on a 24 volt series, and i was wondering how to charge the batterys. can i hook up 2 12 volt battery chargers at one time with the positives on battery 1 and the negitives on battery 2?? or do i have to seperate them?? what other options do i have?? what should i look for in an onboard charger?? how many amps per bank or whatever?? thanks for any tips
-kyle

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You should not need to disconnect anything from the batteries before charging them, although some opinions say better safe than sorry...

The charger(s) should be hooked up so that the positive and negative leads of charger 1 connect to the positive and negative terminals, respectively, of battery 1; same thing goes for charger 2 and battery 2.

As for what to look for, be sure that it has an automatic 3-step charging curve, this is not hard to come by as just about all name brand on-board marine chargers operate this way.

In terms of amps per bank, it depends on the battery size (Amp/Hr), how deeply you discharge the batteries, and how quickly you need them to be recharged.

If you only occasionally use the boat and do not need the batteries recharged quickly, then around 5 amps per bank should give you a good overnight charge on moderately low batteries. If you need faster recharge, then going to 10 (or more) amps per bank will cut the charging time correspondingly.

The most important things to remember with batteries are:

1. Recharge them as soon as possible, don't let them sit any longer than absolutely necessary before recharging.

2. Try not to run them completely dead before recharging. True, the batteries are deep-cycle, but even most deep-cycle batteries do not take well full discharge cycles.

3. If the batteries have caps to check the electrolyte level, be sure to check it periodically.

4. Keep the connections clean and tight.

Personally, I have a 3-bank / 10 amps-per-bank on-board charger that has selectable battery types and an equalization setting that you can select to "zap" the batteries every month or two to keep them operating at peak efficiency. Can't pass on any long-term results since I've only had the combo for two years now, but seems to be still strong as ever using plain old flooded-cell deep cycle batteries.

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The charger is a MinnKota MK-330. The price is around $290.00 - give or take a bit.

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