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311Hemi

Charging the starter battery?

23 posts in this topic

The boat I just bought has a 3 bank Dualpro on-board charger but I found out last night that only two of the three banks are charging. I was thinking about just running it as a two bank charger and having that charge the TM batteries. Question is, how often does the starting motor need to be charged? Engine is a Yamaha F115.

At this point I do not know if any other electronics are running of the starting battery.

I have tested the batteries and tried the bad bank on multiple batteries and confirmed the issue. I will be calling Dualpro today to troubleshoot further.

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I have tested the batteries and tried the bad bank on multiple batteries and confirmed the issue. I will be calling Dualpro today to troubleshoot further.

It sounds like you already did this, but just to be sure, make sure you test a battery that you know is good on the bank you think is bad. Sometimes a bad battery will make it look like the charger bank is bad.

In terms of charging your starting battery, the answer is it depends ......... on how often and how long your run your 115, and on how much draw and for how long you put on the battery to run your other accessories between charges. Typically all of your electronics, radios, pumps, lights etc. will be wired to your starting battery. I have my starting battery on a functioning on-board charger, it's good for extending the battery life and is a good way to prevent unexpected and unpleasant surprises when you want to use your boat.

Good luck getting it figured out.

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As Dave said, it's all about how long / far you run your motor from spot to spot (above 1/2 throttle), and how many accessories you run as well.

Dualpro might offer you a goodwill replacement, where you pay way less than retail to replace it... tough to say for sure, but their customer service is very good.

marine_man

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I never charge my starting battery, but have had a close call or two. Once in a friends boat the starting battery was dead, so we unhooked a trolling motor battery to use for starting and that was dead. We ended up hooking 2 dead batteries togather in series to get enough juice to start the motor.

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I always carry a pair of jumper cables that will reach from my trolling motor battery to the starter battery. I've had to use the jumpers before and believe me I was glad I had them. One time it was late at night so it is worth the little space they take up in the storage compartment.

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I like to be on the safe side and charge my starting battery after each time out. I've got an old reliable 2-stroke, but sometimes it'll take a few cranks (and a lot of juice) to get her cranked up and idling.

I've plugged my charger in to see the battery was at 70%, and I've also hooked it up to see the battery at 30%...it all depends.

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This is a little off-topic, but, does the main motor charge more at idle or at speed? When I hooked up a meter, it appeared to put out more volts at idle than full speed, which seems odd to me.

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More at high speed... just like a vehicle - the faster the alternator spins (if it's equipped) or the magnets on the flywheel go past the stator, the higher the amperage.

marine_man

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The problem with relying on the outboard to maintain the charge is that for most of us, we don't let the motor run long enough between starts to fully recharge the battery again. Most boats that I'm aware of use the starter battery to operate the console components. If we use the starter quite a bit along with livewells, bilge pumps, instrument panels, lights, sonar, etc. we have a good chance of depleting the charge. What's worse is that it is not uncommon for the battery to be a starting battery and not a dual-purpose or deep-cycle type and so discharging them also depletes their life considerably.

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I like to charge mine after every time I go out, but when I am out of town it is sometimes hard to do. You can check the volts on your battery with your depthfinder depending on the unit you have.

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What a coincidence! My dual-pro isn't charging the starting battery either!! Mine is blinking two red LED's which indicates it isn't charging correctly. The other two banks are working fine.

They have a three-year warranty so I gave them a call yesterday and they said no problem. I'm going to call them back tomorrow with the serial number (on a white tag attached to the power cord) and they'll issue an return authorization number. They said it'll be repaired and sent back which typically takes a few days according to the rep on the phone who was very helpful and friendly.

After reading that your problem is similar to mine, I wonder if bank #1 (the one the starting battery is typically wired to) is a faulty design or maybe they just had a bad batch? Mine had a manufactured date of 3/07 (on the same white tag the S/N is on).

If it's within the three year period I'd jot down the S/N and give them a call. I hope to get mine shipped this week so it'll be back before the season opens.

As far as charging goes, my starting battery is a deep cycle and deep cycles should be charged after every trip due to the fact that the charging system on a boat can't do a full charge that a deep cycle needs regardless how fast or how long you run the engine.

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311Hemi,

I have a 3 bank dual pro Ranger charger on my boat. I had the same problem last year where only 2 of the 3 banks were charging. Brought the boat to the dealer and found that the charger was the issue. Luckly it was still under warranty and it was replaced without cost. I have heard that Dualpro customer service is outstanding and would probably work with you.

Good luck,

Matt

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We ended up hooking 2 dead batteries togather in series to get enough juice to start the motor.

Be careful running in a series. 24 volts could be havoc on electroncs. Better to run in paralell to maintain 12 volts when hooking 2 batteries to a 12 volt system.

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I have a 115 yamaha 4 stroke and I have never had to charge my starting battery except for when my stator went. I check it every few times out but have never had to charge the starter batteries. I charge my bowmount batteries after every day out unless I dont use it.

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I tried swapping the inline fuse on the bad bank today which is what they said to try....no luck. My starting battery was actually hooked to bank two and that's the bank that went bad. Fault code was two blinking red lights. I have a marine starting battery on bank two.

I just checked and the manufacture date on the white tag is 08-03-07, so I think this should be covered under warranty. I will find out tomorrow.

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If the LED bar showed five red LED's right after you plugged it in then it wouldn't be the fuse. This says that it is charging and everything is normal, but the two LEDs will later illuminate saying that it tried to charge but the voltage didn't rise to a level the charger expected it to be at after charging for a predetermined time. I'm sure they wanted you to switch that around just to do some quick troubleshooting to maybe save some time if it was a simple fuse.

If it had started blinking one red LED then a blown fuse could be a possibility as that indicates an open circuit.

With a build date of 8/07 you shouldn't have an issue getting the unit fixed or replaced. When I called they had no problems getting the issue resolved and seem to stand behind their three-year warranty without question.

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Well, it's going to cost me $125 to get it fixed. I guess the previous owner purchased a reconditioned unit that only carries a 1 year warranty. bummer. I guess it's cheaper than a new one.

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Originally Posted By: JeffB
We ended up hooking 2 dead batteries togather in series to get enough juice to start the motor.

Be careful running in a series. 24 volts could be havoc on electroncs. Better to run in paralell to maintain 12 volts when hooking 2 batteries to a 12 volt system.

Yes. Applying 24v to a 12v starter will very likely damage the starter motor rather quickly as the motor windings won't handle the resulting current.

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Interesting thread. I bought a used crestliner fishawk 1650 last summer. It has 3 batteries. One up front for the troller, one in the back left for the starter, and one in ghe back right for the accessories. I thought this was a pain having to have 3 batteries going - but now I am wondering if having 3 separate batteries is the way to go...no worries about the accessories draining the starter battery. However, no you have me wondering if my on board charger is hooked up to all 3 batteries?? I know its hooked up to the troller up front and the accessory battery on the right...but not sure about the starter being hooked up to the charger? If the starter is all separate - would it simply get enough charge from running the boat motor?? (70HP 2003 model merc).

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I don't know if I'd trust it unless you do a lot of lake running. The power it takes to start your outboard can be considerable and it can take time to recharge. Even our cars with their high output alternators can take some significant time to recharge.

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If you only have 2 bank charger, then the starting battery is getting charged by the main motor.

marine_man

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I will have to look when I pick the boat up from storage. I didnt pay much attention to the charger last summer when I bought the boat. Will it say somewhere on the charger? Or I suppose if the leads that go to my starter battery only have one set up connectors hooked up (for the boat motor) can I then assume its not hooked up to the charger? I just cant remember off hand what the set up looked like. I think there were only 1 set of leads to the starter battery.

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You'll have to follow the leads to figure out where it goes.

marine_man

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